A village council in Bihar has banned the use of mobile phones by unmarried girls, said a council member Wednesday.
The decision was taken Tuesday evening at a meeting of Somgarh panchayat (council) in West Champaran district.
The panchayat also threatened to impose heavy fine on the girls' families if they violated the diktat, said Zakir Ansari, husband of the village council head.
"Decision was taken with approval of hundreds of villagers," said Ansari who works as the de facto head.
He said all families have been told to ensure that the decision is not violated.
However, Bihar Panchayati Raj Minister Bhim Singh said that a panchayat has no right to impose ban on the use of mobile phones by girls or prevent them from keeping mobile phones.
"If girls or any one from the village lodges a complaint in this connection, the government will initiate action against the decision taken by the panchayat," Singh said.
This is not the first such case in Bihar.
Earlier, a village council in Aurangabad district banned the use of cell phones by school students and told girl students not to wear "provocative" dresses.