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Maharashtra: Panchayat asks woman marrying outside caste to shun govt benefits

A village 'jaat panchayat' here has allegedly forced a woman, who married a man from another caste, to give a written submission that she would not avail government benefits meant for the Scheduled Tribes (STs), prompting the Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) to seek action against the village sarpanch.

The Rayambe village sarpanch has misused his rights, a local VBA leader claimed, and demanded registration of a case against the 'jaat panchayat' (group of caste leaders) here in Maharashtra.

The woman, hailing from Walvihir village in Igatpuri taluka of Nashik, recently got married to a man from another caste, sources said.

On May 5, when the couple came to the man's house in Rayambe village, also located in the same taluka, some people belonging to the woman's community got enraged.

They called the couple to the panchayat and allegedly forced the woman to give in writing that she will not take government facilities meant for the STs as she had married a man from another caste.

The panchayat took the signatures of the woman and her husband on the letter and put the sarpanch's stamp on it, the sources said.

Reacting to this, VBA's Trimbakeshwar unit president Umesh Sonawane told reporters that the government encourages removal of differences among castes and also gives financial aid for inter-caste marriages.

"In this case, the sarpanch has misused his rights and should not have done so. Therefore, he should be removed from the post and a case should be registered against the jaat panchayat,” he said.

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2022 4:55:32 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/maharashtra-panchayat-asks-woman-marrying-outside-caste-to-shun-govt-benefits/article65394305.ece