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By Mr. Raghavender Ananth

Honour Killing is one of the social injustices happening in the Country. Honour Killing which otherwise known as shame killing is murdering a member of the family for not submitting the norms and traditions of a biased community. This has been the recent social violence happening the country where it is now propagated as a trend where the family member is murdered for not following the principles laid by certain community and doing such an act which brings dishonour and shame to the societal norms.

In reference to honour killing, a case which happened on September 19, 2018 where the daughter’s father killed the daughter and his son-in law using a machete over inter– caste marriage. There have been lots of cases highlighting inter – caste marriage honour killing in the country. This has been the case where the people’s mindset reigns over the modern societal norms where inter caste marriage seems to be still an alarming issue where such acts are mentally being seen as a case of dishonour and shame brought to the family and the society where doing so brings chaos to the family and separation of the caste lineage bond. There exists no separate law for punishment for honour killing but is brought alongside the provisions of the Indian Penal Code in reverence to homicide and Culpable Homicide not amounting to murder (Sec 299) . In India, honour killings take place if two people wish to marry outside their caste or religion. Khap Panchayats strictly prohibit inter - caste marriage where people marry within the same gotra.

These are the sections where the punishment imposed is being highlighted .

  • Sections 299-304 which penalises any person guilty of murder and culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The punishment for murder is life sentence or death and fine. The punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder is life imprisonment or imprisonment for upto 10 years and fine.

  • Section 307 which penalises attempt to murder with imprisonment for upto 10 years and a fine. If a person is hurt, the penalty will extend upto life imprisonment.

  • Section 308 which penalises attempt to commit culpable homicide by imprisonment for upto 3 years or with fine or with both. If it causes hurt, the person shall be imprisoned for upto 7 years or fined or both.

  • Section 120A and B which penalises any person who is a party to a criminal conspiracy.

  • Sections 107-116 which penalises persons for abetment of offences including murder and culpable homicide.

  • Section 34 and 35 which penalises criminal acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention.

Kausalya was a 19 year old girl who dropped out of college to marry her boyfriend Sankar. A few months later, Kausalya's father had killed her boyfriend with the help of armed men. Her father wanted to kill the couple for bringing his caste and honour into disrepute.

In India, women are not considered individuals with lives and choices of their own. Instead, they are seen as the torchbearers of family ‘honour’. They are curbed from talking to men, choosing their life partners . They are looked upon to the society as a trade policy for keeping their caste lineage .

Where a case near Krishnagiri. Harish, a 27-year-old cab owner from Bengaluru, was hacked to death for marrying a girl who seems to have been born in an upper caste. Harish's body was found in the Cauvery River near Mandya. The girl’s family was threatening the boy and later had allegedly murdered the boy. Meenakshi committed suicide after a few days as she couldn’t bear the pain .

Nandhish, a boy from the Dalit community had fell in love with Swathi, who belongs to the upper caste. The couple got married and lived together for a few months . After which they both were murdered by the couple’s father. Swathi’s father has confessed to murdering them and throwing the bodies into a river in Tamil Nadu's Krishnagiri district.

Gaddi Kumar fell in love with a minor girl from a different community. Both the parents had agreed to their marriage seeking the condition after the girl turned 18. But, a few days after that, Gaddi was found dead and his reports reveal he had been murdered by the girl’s father seeing the injuries sustained.

Similarly in Chandigarh, a 16-year-old girl was found dead in October. Police have arrested six members of her family in what is suspected to be a case of honour killing. The girl had been in a relationship with a 19 year old boy .

The country registered 251 honour killings last year against 28 in 2014. The sudden jump reflects rigorous data collection on honour killing, which the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) started doing from January 2014. It also points to the widespread existence of the crime.

Uttar Pradesh, which registered a single case in 2014, topped the list the next year with 131 cases of murder with honour killing as the sole motive .

2015 Survey :251 Cases

2016 Survey :77 Cases

2018 Survey :

There were 97 incidents of assault and 87 cases of killings. Forty incidents were reported where women from marginalised groups or transgender persons faced sexual violence which was submitted by Amnesty India.

Dalit women, in particular, faced a disproportionate amount of sexual violence, 33 out of 40 such incidents were reported.

The first step to ensuring justice and ending impunity for hate crimes, where people are targeted because they belong to a particular group, is to highlight their occurrence.

Every year around the world an increasing number of women are killed in the name of honour. Relatives, usually male, commit acts of violence against wives, sisters, daughters and mothers to reclaim their family honour from real or suspected actions that are perceived to have compromised it..

It also gives the impression that these crimes are a product of the "culture" - customs and traditions. Associating such crimes with rigid traditions and certain communities alone prevents acknowledgement of the fact that these crimes are extremely widespread in India, across regions and communities.

In India, the idea that parents have a right to control who their daughter marries has especially wide acceptability because of the caste system: caste boundaries can be maintained by controlling women to make sure they marry in keeping with caste norms. Any autonomy by women is a threat.

The foreline conclusion to the above said “ Honour Killing ’’ is that it is not a fashionable way of killing someone as the title appears and get no honour out of it . However, the best way Honour Killing can be abolished in the country is of two ways . One way is bringing stringent laws and modified laws to curb over the situation and the next is by changing the mindset of the people . The upcoming generation have to pave way for bringing up an country where such inhumane activities are forbidden and people find respect in other’s opinion.

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