Haryana Runaway-Couple Totals Have Quadrupled Since 2010 reports Security Training Network
Experts state village traditions to blame for the fear that force couples to run
According to the report that was tabled on Tuesday, the tally of couples grew to 1,345 in 2012, compared to 366 two years earlier.
Sampat Singh, the Congressional MLA, raised the question on the issue, stating, "It certainly shows that the conflict is increasing between the couples and their parents on the issue of choice of marriage. The couples feel insecure when elders raise objections to their relation due to social traditions."
"When any boy or girl is thrashed or killed following their affair, it sends fear among others forcing them to rush to courts to seek police protection," said Sampat, who was state home minister between 1987 and 1991.
Punjab and Haryana high court judges were originally authorized to issue orders to protect the life and liberty of runaway couples. However, as of April 2010, the High Court gave such capability to the session judges of each district for the runaways.
President Malik khap, Baljeet Singh Malik stated that the couples run in fear of the perceived violation of tradition. "Government promotes such trend (to provide security) to claim that authorities take prompt action," he said and added that khaps now generally don't intervene into these matters to avoid court cases.
President of women's wing of Haryana Sarv Jat Sarv Khap Mahapanchayat Santosh Dahiya stated that most cases stem from the same village marriages.
"Villagers don't accept same gotra or same village marriages as they consider all girls and boys in a village as brothers and sisters," said Dahiya, who is an associate professor in Kurukshetra University.
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