IFS woman’s inter-caste marriage puts family under threat

November 2nd, 2011 - 7:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhiwani (Haryana), Nov 2 (IANS) For a state notorious for illegal diktats of its Khap panchayats (community courts), a family in Haryana’s Bhiwani district has been provided police protection after their Indian Foreign Service (IFS) daughter decided to go in for an inter-caste marriage.

This decision has followed opposition by some members of the upper caste Brahmin Sabha who do not want the woman to marry outside the caste.

The family of Neelam Sharma, an IFS officer currently posted at the Indian mission in Moscow, has been facing threats for last one week from members of the Brahmin Sabha.

Her father, Ram Kumar, a retired government servant, was told last week by the Sabha members to restrain his daughter from marrying a man from another caste.

Sharma is set to marry Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Kuldeep Yadav in New Delhi Nov 8. They met some time back while training together and had decided to get married.

Yadav, who belongs to the Ahir community, is presently posted as an additional district magistrate in Gujarat’s Godhra district.

“We have provided protection to the family and have even talked to the village panchayat and others in the village. I don’t see any problem arising,” said station house office (SHO) Mauji Ram, in whose area Sharma’s village, Patranwali, falls.

Police here admitted it was the first instance to their knowledge of members of the upper caste openly objecting to an inter-caste marriage and asking the family to stop it.

“Some people have objected to the marriage. We reported the matter to the police. We have been given protection. The issue has been settled for now,” a relative, not willing to be named, told IANS

Most of the residents in the village are supporting the girl’s family, saying they saw nothing wrong in the marriage.

“We are with Neelam’s family. We did not allow the Brahmin Sabha members to reach her house,” village headman Krishan Kumar said.

Most members of Sharma’s family have gone to New Delhi to make arrangements for the wedding.

Haryana’s Khap Panchayats are notorious for opposing marriages between couples from the same ‘gotra’ (lineage). In recent years, there have been instances where couples have been hounded and even killed while their families have faced social boycotts and threats from community members.

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