Patna: A village panchayat in Bihar has banned the use of mobile phones by unmarried girls, mostly students and ordered them to return home before evening. It has also asked the girls and women of the village to not go for open defecation at night.
The decision was taken on Sunday evening (August 18) at a meeting in Parsa village under Hathhapur Parsa panchayat in Basopatti block in Madhubani district.
Not just that, the village panchayat has also announced to socially boycott those girls and women who dare to dance in the wedding functions.
The panchayat also threatened to impose a fine on the girls' families if they violated the diktat, said, the Sarpanch Yogendra Mandal.
"The decision was taken with the approval of hundreds of villagers," he said. He said all families have been told to ensure that the decision is not violated.
Mandal said if girls want to talk to their relatives, they would be allowed to use mobile phones in presence of their parents or guardians. The girls and women have also been prohibited to go for open defecation in the nearby field after 8 PM.
It was also decided by the panchayat not to play Bhojpuri songs in wedding functions and any other celebrations in the village, and has appealed to play Hindi aand Maithili songs only.
Deputy mukhiya (deputy village body head) of the panchayat Afaque Alam said a committee consisting of villagers has been formed to monitor implementation of the decisions taken at the panchayat meeting in the village. “All decisions were taken to check and control misuse of mobile phones by minor and teenage girls that contribute to social evils,” he said.
However, Bihar Panchayati Raj Minister Kapildeo Kamat said that a panchayat has no right to impose ban on the use of mobile phones by girls or prevent them from keeping mobile phones.
A district police official told NewsClick that so far no complaint has been lodged in connection with the reported ban on use of mobile phones by girls by a panchayat.
"If girls or any one from the village lodges a complaint in this connection, the administration will initiate action against the decision taken by the panchayat," police said.
This is not the first such case in Bihar.
In the past too, several village panchayats in over a dozen districts had banned the use of cell phones by school students, and had ordered girls not to wear jeans. They had also told girl students not to wear "provocative" dresses.
Also read: Mother and Daughter Tonsured for Opposing Rape Attempt in Bihar