Meerut: After its diktats banning love marriages and barring women below 40 yrs from using mobile phones created a furore, the Asara village panchayat on Sunday said its rulings had been distorted by the media and they will hold a Mahapanchayat on the issue on July 21.
    
Civil representatives from both abroad and across the country will be invited for the Mahapanchayat. The decision to hold the Mahapanchayat was taken at a panchayat meeting attended by Bharatiya Jat Aaarakshan Sangharsh Samithi President Choudhary Yashpal Singh.
    
Defending the directives given by Asara village panchayat, Singh said the media and the government have no jurisdiction to term panchayat verdict as "taliban-styled". Singh claimed the diktats were in the benefit of the society and the intent behind these rulings have been distorted by the media and political leaders.
    
"The directives given by Panchayat are neither against society, nor is to restrict anyone. Media have given a distorted picture of the entire matter. The panchayat only had put forward suggestions.
    
"Girl and boy from same village are considered siblings, so what is wrong in a decision that prevents such marriages," he said. Singh said a decision might be taken on July 21 regarding the criticism received from media and political leaders.
    
The panchayat in Asara village in Baghpat's Ramala area also ruled on Wednesday that when women leave their homes, their heads must be covered. Banning love marriages, the panchayat said those doing so would not be allowed to live in the village.

(Agencies)

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