Haryana:Panchayat order husband and wife to live like brother and sister

Haryana:Panchayat order husband and wife to live like brother and sister

A panchayat in a Haryana village has ordered dissolution of the marriage of a couple and asked the husband and his pregnant wife to live like "brother and sister" on the claim that brotherly relations existed between their `Gotras'.

The panchayat in Asanda village of Jhajjar district on Sunday instructed the couple, Rampal and Sonia, to terminate their marital ties as the husband belonged to the `Dahiya Gotra' which had `Bhaichara' (brotherly relations) with the `Rathee Gotra' to which his wife belonged.


Their marriage was not socially acceptable, the panchayat ruled.

However, Sonia, who is three months pregnant, today claimed that she belongs to `Hooda Gotra' and said she would challenge the panchayat's decision. "I will not accept the dictum of the Rathee Khaap terminating my marriage and I will fight even if the odds weigh heavily against me."


"Some influential persons want to destroy our family as they want to grab the land of my in-laws. The Rathee Khaap panchayat instigated by such persons acted in undue haste and did not give my family the opportunity to prove that I actually belong to the Hooda Gotra and not Rathee Gotra," she told reporters from her hospital bed in PGIMS, Rohtak.

Sonia asserted that she would stay with her husband at their house in Asanda village. "I am ready to pay any price, but I will not tolerate injustice to my family and my yet to be born child," she said, adding school certificates clearly mentioned her name as Sonia Hooda.

Emboldened by his wife's brave stand, Rampal who was ordered by the Panchayat not to see Sonia was present in the hospital with his sister Sheela.

Though Rampal, engaged in farming, initially chose to bow to the Panchayat's order, Sonia refused to accept the Rs. 10 note that Rampal offered to her as "Shagun" marking the beginning of their relationship as brother and sister.

Sonia was admitted to PGIMS hospital here after she complained of abdominal pain.

Senior gynaecologist at the hospital Pushpa Dahiya said Sonia required medical supervision as she had history of abortion and was under stress due to the developments during the past few days.

Sonia's father Satvir Singh belongs to Killoi, a village dominated by those with Hooda Gotra. Singh, an Inspector in Haryana Police, has been trying to collect revenue records and other documents to establish that his Gotra is Hooda.

The Rathees outnumber the Dahiyas in Asanda village under Bahadurgarh Sadar police jurisdiction, nearly 30 km from Rohtak.


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