Business Standard

Raj family 'ostracised' for four years on khap panchayat's orders


Press Trust of India Bundi (Raj)
A family of six has claimed that it has been ostracised for the last four years as it failed to heed the decree of the Rager community khap panchayat on the outskirts of Bundi town.
The khap allegedly issued the diktat in relation to a custody battle over a boy after his father died.
The khap, however, has denied issuance of any such decree.
In 2010, Durgashankar Rager (32) died in a road accident. Following this, Durgashankar's mother Pushpabai allegedly asked her daughter-in-law Rekhabai and grandson Yash to leave their home in Talera town, citing a strain on finances, said Rupnarayan, the maternal grandfather of Yash.
Rekhabai, along with her one-year-old son, then started living at her father Rupnarayan's home in Bundi. The mother-son duo lived there till Rekhabai remarried. Yash continues to live with Rupnarayan even after Rekhabai's marriage.
Rupnarayan alleged that Pushpabai took an interest in Yash's life after an accident insurance sum of Rs 3 lakh was to be credited to the minor. Following which, Pushpabai sought help from the khap panchayat.
The community panchayat ordered Rupnarayan to send Yash to the boy's paternal grandmother. However, Rupnarayan refused to follow the panchayat's order.
Rupnarayan's refusal to send his grandson to Pushpabai, resulted in the khap ostracising Ramnarayan's family, according to his family.
Rupnarayan, who works as a daily labourer, has deposited the insurance claim amount in the name of his maternal grandson, who will be able to withdraw the sum after he turns 18 years of age.
"For the last five years, our family has not been invited to any social function, celebration or festival. No one from our of community speaks to us', lamented Rupnarayan.
Today Yash studies in class 3 at a private school in the city. Rupnarayan believes his only crime is that he took responsibility for his grandson.
Around three months ago, Rupnarayan along with his family dared to attend the panchayat meeting at the community complex in Bundi city, however the incident has now become a sour memory. "We were greeted with insults and subjected to humiliation. We were pushed away from the venue as the panches used abusive language," said Rupnarayan.
"My eldest son Tarun (28), younger daughter Deepmala (25) and youngest son Dharmraj (23) are all unmarried. No one in the community wants to be related to us as we are outcasts', Rupnarayan said.
"My family has till date received five to six wedding proposals for me, but when the groom's family comes to know we are outcasts, they refuse to go for the wedding ", said Deepmala.
"I am forced to remain a spinster. Girls of my age are enjoying a happily married life with kids," said a teary Deepmala.
Deepmala demanded the government and concerned agencies punish the community Khap Panchayat for the wrong done to them.
Rupnarayan's eldest son Tarun runs a fruit stall in Bundi city. "I make a good living but no one in our community is ready to give their daughter's hand to me as my family is ostracised," said Tarun.
When contacted, the panchayat community members said they did not deliver any such diktat. "Rupnarayan has lost his mind," said Modu Lal Verma, the head of Bundi city Rager Panchyat.
"The khap panchayat does not deliver a written diktat in case of punishments. Its command is carried out in a silent manner," said a senior Rager community member on condition of anonymity.
Rupnarayan over a year ago filed a suit in civil magistrate court against the community panches.
Rupnarayan's case has surfaced on the back of similar such incidents being reportedly. In the beginning of July, a five-year-old girl was ostracised by the Rager khap panchayat in Haripura village of Bundi district for accidentally destroying a sandpiper's eggs.
On Sunday last, a family was branded outcast after four sisters shouldered their father' bier before performing the last rites.

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First Published: Jul 31 2018 | 9:50 PM IST

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