Meerut: Khap panchayats in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday said they will oppose same gotra marriages before the Supreme Court which had sought their views following a plea to curb violence against couples at the behest of such caste councils.

At a meeting of over 200 khap leaders, the self-styled caste councils were "unanimous in their opposition to same gotra marriages". They, however, stressed that they have "never supported honour killings," meeting convenor Surendra Singh told reporters.

The khaps also demanded that they be recognised by the government and granted legal rights. "Khap Panchayats cannot tolerate same gotra marriages. We will continue to oppose them publicly," Singh said, adding that the meeting passed two resolutions on the issues and their stand will be conveyed to the Supreme Court.

Singh said that the issue of same gotra marriages was not only connected to social beliefs and traditions but there were scientific reasons to oppose such alliances.

"The khap leaders said that they never supported honour killings. The intention is to check social evils and protect our traditions," he said. The meeting came days after the Supreme Court invited 'Khap Panchayats' to hear their views before issuing any order to stop them from harassing and killing couples, particularly women in name of family honour, for entering into inter-caste or intra-gotra marriages.

Dealing with a PIL on khap-dictated violence, a bench of justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai, said before passing any order it would like to hear the views of Khap Panchayats and said they can come before it on the next date of hearing on January 14.

In the meantime, the bench had said as a pilot project it would examine the situation in three districts where the Khap panchayats are very active and summoned the superintendents of police of Rohtak and Jind districts of Haryana and that of Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh to apprise the court of the situation there.


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