Haridwar: Giving thumbs down to several directions from the Supreme Court, caste panchayats across the country have been passing on diktats against their community members that do not stand the test of law. Joining the same league, a local Muslim panchayat in Sarai village of Haridwar, has ordered a ban on community women from taking up jobs outside their house.

Overruling the diktat would invite a fine of Rs 5100 apart from a punishment of being whipped five times, the diktat enshrines.
Only two days back, a panchayat in Garowali village had imposed a similar ban.

Around five thousand people belonging to five different sub-castes congregated at Sarai on Tuesday, in close vicinity of the district headquarters, and decided to ban women from taking up a job.

The district administration has taken a serious note of the issue and said that no one would be allowed to take law into their own hand. Those found guilty would be duly punished, assured the administration.

“We are taking seriously the bizarre announcement of Muslim Panchayat and we won’t let happen any wrong with law and order,” said S N Pande, Additional District Magistrate of Haridwar.

Superintendent of Police (Rural), Roshan Lal Sharma, added that he has not received any complaint yet, but any such move would be dealt sternly.

Representatives of the community defended the ban saying working woman spoil the environment of the village. In their defence, they also quoted the incidence where a woman from their community fled with a man belonging to other community.

Half of the 14,000 population of Sarai comprises women. Almost sixty of them work with State Industrial Development Corporation of Uttaranchal (SIDCUL).