A day after saying that early marriage for women was a feasible antidote to rape, former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala said that he had merely echoed the views placed by a khap panchayat and it was not a view he endorsed.
"I have just said that times are worse in Haryana than they were even during Mughal times when families would marry off women so that their reputations were not ruined.....Khaps have just made a suggestion to the government and it is for the government to decide what to do about it," the INLD leader said.
"I am not in support of what the khap or anyone else has said. The law of the land has already been laid down. It is just a suggestion made by them to lower the age of marriage for girls and it is for the government to consider it," Chautala said.
The former Haryana chief minister pointed out that in many countries there were no age restrictions on when girls could get married and it was for the government to decide on what to do next.
However, he was quick to say that he had no view on the matter.
"We don't have any suggestion or demand for the government," he said.
Chautala yesterday said that times were as bad as those during Mughal rule in the country and said that it maybe time to get women married off early in order to protect them from being targetted by rapists. His comments had been widely condemned by political parties and womens' rights groups.
The former Chief Minister's comments, which were widely condemned, came even as a spate of cases of rape and gang rape were reported across the state. Among the most horrific cases was one in which a teenage Dalit girl committed suicide by immolating herself after being gang raped.