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Caste panchayat in Rajasthan ostracises family
Monday May 11, 2015 6:34 PM, IANS

Jaipur: A caste or khap panchayat has ostracised a family in Rajasthan's Jodhpur district after their daughter approached an NGO for getting her child marriage annulled. It also imposed a fine of Rs.16 lakh on the family.

"Santa Devi Meghwal, a resident of Rohicha Khurd village, approached us for annulment of her marriage that was performed when she was only 11-month-old," Kriti Bharti, managing trustee of Saarthi Trust, told IANS on phone on Monday.

"She now is around 19. She is studying in second year of her graduation in Jai Narain Vyas University in Jodhpur," said Bharti, who is also a rehabilitation psychologist.

"After completing her studies, she wants to become a teacher," Bharti said.

"When the panchayat came to know that Meghwal wants to annul her marriage, it imposed a fine of Rs.16 lakh and ostracised the family. The family is being threatened to obey the caste panchayat orders or face dire consequences," Bharti said.

"We would take strong legal action against caste panchayat," she added.

According to Bharti, Meghwal came to know about her child marriage only a couple of years back.

Jodhpur-based Saarthi Trust works mainly for annulment of child marriages.

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