Amending an age-old norm, a khap phanchayat here has allowed inter-caste marriages.

The historic decision was taken by a five-member committee of the Satrol khap panchayat in Narnid village of the district here on Sunday.

The panchayat also allowed marriages within 42 villages under its jurisdiction, which, till now, was banned. The khap, however, continued to ban inter-caste marriages in the same and bordering villages and same-gotra marriages.

Haryana is notorious for honour killing of young men and women who dare to marry outside their caste.

Terming the move as “courageous”, head of the Satrol khap panchayat Subedar Indra Singh told PTI, “The decision was taken in the wake of the declining male-female sex ratio in the State and the changing social fabric.

“The decision has been taken in order to improve the sex ratio in the State. The current norms in marriage were some 600-700 years old and now, times have changed,” said Mr. Singh, emphasising that the changes in society could not be ignored.

“Nowadays, interaction between men and women has increased and it is not possible to keep them away from each other. Love affairs are very common,” he said.

Sarvajat-Sarvakhap panchayat national spokesperson Sube Singh Samaen said it was a historic decision and efforts would be made to implement it in other panchayats also.