Women in an Indian village have been banned from using mobile phones in public in order to restrict their contacts with men.
Village elders proposed a heavy fine of 21,000 rupees ($325) on any woman caught using her mobile in the public The ruling was made in Madora which is a Muslim village in the conservative northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
"We have received reports about the Khap ordering the ban on women using mobile phones," local police chief Arun Kumar Singh told AFP, referring to the informal village councils known as khap panchayats in India.
"Such orders are against the constitution and we will take action." He added
In their ruling, the village elders said that mobiles phones were aiding women to leave their marriages, arguing that a ban in public will help reduce this.
The elders further imposed fines on people caught slaughtering cows or smuggling liquor.
"We do support their measures against illegal activities but won't allow them to curb the freedom of women," Singh Arun Kumar said.
Critics have accused the Village council of acting like kangaroo courts and ordering public beatings and issuing other undue punishments for perceived crimes.