The Panchayat of Mathura Madara village in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday ordered the imposition of a hefty penalty. The penalty was on anyone who in cow slaughter and also on girls using mobile phones while walking on the street. Use of mobile phones in the public has been astonishingly listed as a crime along with drinking, gambling, and cow slaughter. Fines range from Rs. 11,000 to 2 lakh for various “misdemeanors”.
Ghaffar Khan, a member of the Panchayat offers the justification that many would describe as outrageous. “Here, most of the women are uneducated, why will they require a phone?”
“We haven’t banned women from using cellphones. But, whatever is done; should be done according to the tradition.”
However, according to the police; people at this village in Mathura believe that such a ban would limit the interaction of girls with men. Moreover, the elopements and affairs of girls are blamed because of the use of mobile phones.
“Some of the villagers wanted to deal with some wrongdoings themselves so we allowed them to take steps to ensure that there are no crimes,” said Arun Kumar Singh, a senior Police Officer.
“Nevertheless, we will support their measures against illegal activities, but if something happens to the freedom of women, then will surely look after into it. Such orders are against the constitution and necessary actions will be taken.”
However, anyone found indulging in cow slaughter would be charged ₹2 lakh, while those found selling liquor would be ₹1.11 lakh.
A village in Muzaffarnagar banned women from wearing jeans or using mobile phones three years ago.