Chandigarh: Former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala on Wednesday backed a Khap leader's statement that girls should be married early to prevent rapes, according to a report.

Chautala said: "In the past, people used to marry their girls to save them from such incidents and a similar situation is arising in Haryana."

"That's the possible reason khap has taken such a decision," he added.

The former Haryana CM said this on the day a 19-year-old Dalit girl was kidnapped and gang-raped by two men at Kaithal district in the state.

The police have claimed to arrest two accused involved in the barbaric incident.

The crime took place within hours after Sonia Gandhi's visit to Jind district to meet the family of a rape victim, who couldn’t bear the trauma and committed suicide.

Offering condolences to the Dalit family at their village home in Jind district, Gandhi said, “I strongly condemn such barbaric incidents of crime against women. The perpetrators of such acts should be given the severest punishment.”

She also took on the khap panchayats, which had suggested lowering the marriage age to serve as a deterrent to such crimes. “We have a democratic set-up and law is in the hands of the judiciary, not anyone else,” she said.


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