Members of a village panchayat in Haryana's Hisar district have told a dalit couple to start living like siblings, failing which their marriage will be broken up. The man and his wife, who are distant cousins, have allegedly been getting threats from the panchayat members for the past year.
Jyoti Parkash, 25, a resident of Bithmara village in Hisar, and Priyanka Rani, 20, a resident of Meham in Rohtak, had secretly tied the knot in a Karnal court last April. Parkash said they had been living in hiding for the past nine months. "When we returned home to Bithmara last May, a month after getting married, our panchayat members, including sarpanch Balsher Singh, told us to dissolve our marriage and live like a brother and a sister," he said.
"We left the house immediately and started living in a rented accommodation in Uklana village in Hisar district." But the move to Uklana did not help as Parkash continued to receive threatening calls. On Thursday, Prakash sought protection for his wife and himself from Hisar range inspector general of police AS Chawla. The couple had earlier spent two weeks in a safe house after getting married.
Chawla said nobody would be allowed to take the law into their hands. "I will ask the Hisar superintendent of police to inquire into the matter and take appropriate action," said Chawla. Sarpanch Balsher Singh denied having pressured the married couple. "All the allegations levelled against the panchayat are baseless," Singh said. "We never threatened anyone and are ready for a police probe."