I'm sorry, she's engaged: Indian village bans women from using mobile phones


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The Independent Online

A council of male elders in a North Indian village has banned women from using mobile phones in public, claiming they've lead to a spate of elopements.

A spokesman for the Sunderbari village said: "It always gives us a lot of embarrassment when someone asks who has eloped this time".

The council has imposed fines equivalent to £114 for single women caught on the phone on the streets, and £23 for married women.

Elders defended their decision by claiming that "married women were deserting their husbands to elope with lovers. So, we decided to tackle it firmly. Mobile phones are debasing the social atmosphere".

Activists responded with outrage and local officials have begun investigations, saying such bans cannot be allowed in a healthy society.