November 27, 2010

Unmarried Women in an Indian Village Banned from Using Cellphones


A northern Indian village, Lank, has banned unmarried women from using cell phones for fear they will arrange forbidden marriages that are often punished by death. WTF?

The Lank village council decided unmarried boys could use mobile phones, but only under supervision. 

Marriages between members of the same clan are forbidden under Hindu custom in some parts of north India, where unions are traditionally arranged by families. In conservative rural areas, families sometimes mete out extreme punishments, including so-called honor killings, for those who violate marriage taboos. In some cases, village councils themselves have ordered the punishments, though police often intervene to stop them.

The village council feared young men and women were secretly calling one another to arrange forbidden elopements.

Last month, 34 couples eloped in Muzaffarnagar district, where Lank is located in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, police said. Among the couples who eloped, eight honor killings have been reported in the last month, police said.

“Three girls were beheaded by the male members of their family after they eloped” with boys from their same clan, said police assistant director general Brij Lal in the state capital of Lucknow.

Thank God I live in the Philippines!

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