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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ingush May Legalize Bride-Napping

The Caucasus republic of Ingushetia will hold a referendum in February to legitimize the traditional practice of suitors kidnapping young women, President General Ruslan Aushev announced Monday.

The referendum, which will also cover the carrying of traditional knives, will be held Feb. 28, Interfax reported.

"In the customs of the mountain people, if a young man falls in love with a girl and decides to marry her, he whisks her off and marries her. But according to [Russian federal] law he risks being brought before the courts. How can you try someone for that?" Aushev asked.

The Ingush people will also consider whether their menfolk should be allowed to wander around with their fighting knives, along with the right of the president of the republic to pardon and amnesty criminals who have committed "vendetta" murders.

"We don't want to legalize anything that runs counter to the constitution of the land, we simply want to clarify the powers and responsibilities between us and the central government in matters of tradition," he added.

The practice of seizing daughters against their parents' will is currently punishable under Russian law.