Sheopur (MP), Feb 15 (PTI) A `Maha Panchayat’ of a tribal community in Sheopur district of Madhya Pradesh has banned women of all ages from using mobile phones, saying they have a `corrupting influence’.

The Maha Panchayat — communal meeting — of the Saharia tribe has asked girls and women from the community across 52 villages of Agra and Vijaypur areas in the district not to own mobile phones or even talk on them.

Anybody found violating the diktat will have to pay a fine of Rs 1,100, it decided last month.

However, an exception has been made for the women working in government offices who can use mobile phones, said a community leader.

Maha Panchayat president Baishaaram Adivasi said that tribal `panchs’ (community heads) from 52 villages met in Dehri area on January 27.

“At the meeting, we decided on a slew of measures to reform our community,” he said, adding that one of these measures was the ban on use of mobile phones by girls and women.

The reason was that these gadgets promote “vulgar Internet content” and have “corrupting influence on mind”, he said.

A committee of 10-12 persons in each village will ensure that the order is implemented, he said.

The Maha Panchayat also banned drinking and consumption of narcotic drugs, he said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.