Man kills self after panchayat order to marry brother's widow as punishment

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Ramgarh (Jharkhand), Nov 4 (PTI) A 26-year-old man in Jharkhand's Ramgarh district died by suicide allegedly after the local panchayat directed him to marry his sister-in-law, a widow, as a punishment for having an illicit relationship with a married woman of his village, police said on Wednesday.

The body of Lav Kumar, a resident of Rola-Bagicha village, was found hanging from the ceiling of a room in their new house at Purabdih village on Tuesday evening, Gola police station officer-in-charge B N Ojha said.

In a written complaint with the police, Kumar's father Sukhlal Mahto alleged that the local panchayat has issued a diktat that his son has to marry his 25-year-old sister-in- law, the widow of his elder brother, as he had a relationship with a married woman in the village.

Kumar's elder brother was killed in a road accident last year.

The illegal directive of the panchayat forced his son to kill self as marrying the widow of his elder brother was unacceptable to him, Mahto alleged in his complaint on Wednesday.

Members of the 'Khap'-like panchayat involved in taking the bizarre decision fled and efforts are on to arrest them, police said.

'Khap' panchayats are caste or community groups, present largely in rural areas of north India which at times act as quasi-judicial bodies and pronounce punishments, which are sometimes bizarre, for actions they deem as offences. PTI COR IKD NN NN