Krishna Tirath rejects suggestion of child marriage as remedy for rape

New Delhi, Oct 11 (ANI): Asserting that the early marriage of girls is against the Child Marriage Act, Minister for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath on Thursday described a Haryana Khap Panchayat's suggestion that marriageable age for girls should be reduced to be extremely wrong, and called for proper moral education for all children.

"I think this is wrong. They should change all these thoughts because we have already stopped the child marriage. It is against the Child Marriage Act. So, all elders should give moral education to all children and the children should take that advice of their elders," she said, when asked to comment on Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) President Om Prakash Chautala's move to back a Haryana Khap Panchayat's decision in this regard.

Tirath further said the decline in child sex ratio might be one of the reasons for the rise in atrocities against the feminine gender in Haryana.

"The numbers of females' are less than males. May be this is the reason. So, I have already written to NCPCR (National Commission for Protection of Child Rights) and NCW (National Commission for Women). They have gone there and after they give their reports, I can take further action," she added.

Former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala earlier on Wednesday backed demands for new laws that will allow marriage of teenagers, saying it would help end the surge in sexual crimes reported from across the state in recent weeks.

"A person learns from the past and chalks out the future. We should learn from the past... especially in 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 think that's the reason khap has taken such a decision and I support it," he told mediapersons after meeting Haryana Governor Jagannath Pahadia at the Raj Bhavan in Chandigarh.

Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde also yesterday rejected the proposal that marriageable age for girls should be reduced, saying one should abide by the Indian law.

"We will have to abide by the Indian law," he said.

Shinde also promised to take strict measures against unfortunate incidents of rape being reported from Haryana.

"It is extremely unfortunate that such incidents are taking place with Dalits. We will be taking strict measures. Our personnel have talked to the Director General and I myself will talk to the Chief Minister," he added.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi had earlier on Tuesday also rejected the Khap Panchayat's suggestion.

"The country has a democratic system and an independent judiciary and the law is in the hands of judiciary and nobody else," she told mediapersons in Haryana's Jind District yesterday, where she met the family of a Dalit teenaged girl, who immolated herself after being allegedly gang-raped on Saturday.

The Congress Government in Haryana-led by Bhupinder Singh Hooda has drawn flak from all quarters for its alleged failure to prevent incidents of crime against Dalits and women.

15 cases of sexual assault have been reported in various parts of Haryana during the past one-month on women that include many teenaged girls. The latest being the abduction and rape of a Dalit girl by two youths in Kasba Kalyat area of Haryana's Kaithal District. (ANI)