New Delhi: A Khap leader recently had asked youngsters to refrain from eating junk food like chowmein. The bizarre statement was made by Jitender Chhataar who said that men experience hormonal imbalances when they eat chowmein, momos and then they commit rape. CNN-IBN Deptuy Editor Sagarika Ghose took this up on Face the Nation and when asked if he really believe this, Jitender Chhataar said, "Poverty and intoxication are the main reasons for rape as well as young people sitting together the wrong way. But also eating chowmein causes a hormonal imbalance which is a big reason for rapes."
In a shocking reaction to the recent spate of rape cases in Haryana, Khap panchayat members earlier blamed girls for such incidents. One Khap Panchyat member gave a bizarre 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.
Former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, too, backed Khap Panchayat leaders' bizarre solution for rape. Chautala also compared the rapes in Haryana to Mughal atrocities. He said that in the Mughal era, people used to marry their girls to save them from Mughal atrocities and currently a similar situation is arising in the state. "I completely support the Khap Panchayat's decision. It is a good way to protect women," Chautala said. This comes even as the number of rape cases continues to rise in Haryana.
Meanwhile, Congress President Sonia Gandhi had lashed out at the Khap Panchayats saying only Judiciary will decide the law and not Khap Panchayats.