Panchayat asks couple to pay ‘tax’ for intercast marriage

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Katihar (Bihar): A young couple was reportedly ordered by a panchayat in the Katihar district of Bihar to pay 50,000 rupees as a “tax” on their inter-caste marriage and would have even been threatened if they did not do so.

Chhotu Yadav from the village of Gogra under the Azamnagar police station, about 275 km from Patna, had fallen in love with Soni Kumai from the neighboring village of Rohia and belonging to another caste. In November last year, they got married in a local court in Katihar, where Yadav worked in a hotel.

Both families had agreed to the marriage, but the problems started when the couple recently returned to Gogra.

Yadav said that a panchayat meeting was held a month ago allegedly on the orders of three muscular men from the village and that a diktat was issued for the couple to pay a fine of 50,000 rupees because of the marriage. was intercast.

“They (the panchayat) said it would ensure that no action is taken against us … The panchayat said the money was a kind of marriage tax and would be spent on a party and on building. Since the meeting there was a constant demand and we have also been beaten a few times since then, ”Yadav said.

The couple were also threatened with dire consequences if they didn’t pay and lived in fear, his father Puran Yadav said.

“We are poor people. We do not have money. How can we pay? Also, when we have accepted the marriage, why do others get involved? He asked.

The family approached Katihar Police Commissioner Kshatraneel Singh through Mahendra Narayan Yadav, a former MP from the region.

When contacted, Singh said: “We are investigating the case. The couple and their family members will be provided with protection. We are awaiting the investigation report and will take action against the culprits.”

Although no FIR has yet been filed, two of the three muscular men fled the village for fear of police intervention. The third named Dinesh Yadav, when questioned, said the money was only asked for a feast.


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