New Delhi – Unmarried women under the age of 40 can no longer marry for love, visit the market unaccompanied or use mobile phones in a northern Indian village, media reported Friday.
Asara village council in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, 70 kilometres from New Delhi introduced the bans to protect “naïve’’ young men and women from corrupting influences, according to the Times of India and other newspapers.
The Hindu daily described the ruling as a “Taliban-style diktat’’ in its online edition, adding that Asara was Muslim-dominated.
Other minorities were also present when the bans were introduced.
Keeping young women away from the market would protect them from “roadside Romeos,’’ the Hindu quoted the council, while the ban on mobile phones reportedly came after complaints of “teasing’’ and “harassment’’.
But women’s activists criticised the measures.
“Why are the restrictions on women only why the panchayat (council) stop men from visiting the weekly market instead of women Shaista Amber, president of the All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board, was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
“If men are kept away, the atmosphere will be equally secure for women at the market,’’ she said.
Police in the village said they were not yet aware of the measures, according to daily Hindustan Times.