By Ainur Rohmah
Couples caught copulating in the Indonesian district of West Java best be on their toes - get caught three times after the new 9 p.m. watershed and you'll be married on the spot.
The regent of Purwakarta, Dedi Mulyadi, told Detik.com. that the regency was applying strict rules to prohibit dating after 9 p.m. to prevent free love among teenagers.
"If a man is suspected to be still visiting his girlfriend after 9 p.m. then they will be raided by village officials and security officers and it will become a forced marriage," he said.
Mulyadi said that couples will be given two warnings, but on the third they will be unified in matrimony.
The regent said that he has contacted 193 village chiefs to police the new legislations, and is installing CCTV on each village boundary to supervise who exits or enters each village.
"If they fail [to implement the legislation], we will delay funding assistance," he said, adding that he would also confiscate their wages.
"I am making sure that this policy will be implemented in all villages simultaneously starting this September."
Mulyadi said he had introduced the policy to maintain the morality of youth, while protecting the honor of girls' parents.
"There are many cases of teenagers who become pregnant outside of marriage," he said.
A 17-year-old Indonesian high school student told Anadolu Agency on Thursday that he hoped the rules would stop unwanted pregnancies.
Pramana - many Indonesians use only one name - said that many of his friends had had to drop out of school as they had become pregnant outside of marriage.
"Their parents are forced to marry them because [they are] already pregnant," he said.
He underlined that such forced matrimony does not make for a long lasting relationship.
"Many of them get divorced shortly after, often because they are bored of each other."Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.