Hisar: There is outrage over a Haryana Khap member's statement that girls must be married off at 16 years of age to avoid being raped. The Dalit community has rejected the Khap's suggestion of lowering the marriageable age, calling it a sick mindset. "Reducing the marriageable age won't make a difference. It's not the age, but the mindset of the culprit that's responsible," Dhanik Samaj leader Jongi Ram Khundia said.
They have also rejected the Khap's statement that the girls are equally to be blamed. They also claim that Dalit girls are targeted by a particular community and other upper caste men. Jongi Ram blamed the law and order of the Khaps for the rapes.
Haryana chamar mahasabha leader SP Chalia also said that more than the blame game, there was a need to fast track the cases. "Fast tracking rape cases would ensure more security for the rape victims' families.
In a shocking reaction to the recent spate of rape cases in Haryana, khap panchayat members have blamed girls for such incidents. One Khap Panchyat member gave a bizzare solution and suggested that the marriageable age for girls should be reduced to 16 years.
When asked why rapes are occuring at this scale in Haryana, Sube Singh said that movies and television are to be blamed for rapes. "I believe this is happening because our youth are being badly influenced by cinema and television. I think that girls should be married at the age of 16, so that they have their husbands for their sexual needs, and they don't need to go elsewhere. This way rapes will not occur," commented Singh.
The insensitive statement was made after an allegedly raped Dalit girl set herself on fire in Jind district in Haryana on Saturday. All four suspects have been arrested in the case. The 16-year-old was forcibly taken to the house of one of the suspects where the crime occurred, according to the police reports. In a state of shock, the girl went to her house and sprinkled kerosene on herself.