Honor killing is the murder or killing of a member of family or community. This killing was done because of victims has brought shame or dishonor upon family or community. There are many reasons of honor killing like violated the principle of community with an culture. Some of the reasons that causes honor killing may be divorce, child marriage by force, marriage outside the social group or with other caste, sexual assault, and many.

Honor killing is also known as the shame killing. Basically, honor killing is mainly the killing of a girl or women by the male family members. Here, male are dominated. The reason of murder is that victims has brought some dishonor upon family, community and on their prestige. For example, During 1947 when India was divided into two parts India and Pakistan. Women were raped, killed and rampant on both sides of the border. So the family member of girl or women gave them poison. When someone raped them. So, she eat poison and dead. This save their honor and prestige. In Ancient time, there are two types of societies one is Matriarchal- dominated by female and other one is Patriarchal- male dominated society. So, when we look patriarchal society. Here male are dominated. Female in this society have to follow the order of male either husband, brother and father. The responsibility of male is to take care of their family members. Activities of woman and girls are closely monitored. The responsibility of male is to maintain the women’s virginity and sexual purity, firstly by her father and brother and secondly, after marriage by her husband.

These crimes are not specially related to one specific area. These are done widely. According to the United Nations Population Fund Report, Around 5,000 women are killed annually for the cause of honor. Also these crimes are not limited to only one religious, caste or faith. These crimes occurred in various parts of the world including Middle East and South Asia and half of the honor killing mainly occurred only in two country India and Pakistan. It means that According to the United Nation Population Fund Report, out of 5000 women 2500  were killed in both these countries. These two country are on one side and all world another side.

Now, there was an increasing awareness how to stop honor killing. Many countries now make laws to stop these crime. For example, In India, The Government of India imposed strict penalties for violence against women in 1980’s. In rural areas of India, mainly honor killing are causes due to inter caste marriages. These types of marriages are supported by villagers without reported to Police. So, when murder was considered as an accident. If a women beaten, burned, strangled. Shot and stabbed to death. This would be considered as suicide. If there was not possibility that women kill herself, then also suicide considered.

There are many countries where honor killing are either legal or punishable. In Jordan, honor killing are either legal or punishable. According to the Article 340 of the Jordanian Penal Code, it gives punishment to those who kill family relatives found guilty of adultery. And according to Article 76 of the Tempers Penal Code, it allows the defendants to cite mitigating reasons in the crime of assault. During 2011, Amend was made by Jordaic legislature on Article 76. The Amendment was that to prevent it use by defendants in honor killing. But from the pressure of social groups and other caused those efforts stop.

HONOR KILLING: Are We prepared to tackle the problem?

Case of Nirupama Pathak

This case is the case of honor killing. Nirupama Pathak was a Delhi Journalist. She was killed by her family because she was planning to marry a man outside her caste and she was pregnant also. Case of honor killing are common in Delhi capital and such type of crimes are common in the States of India including Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Family’s honor is tied to a women’s chastity is the basic idea behind the honor killing. Some of the reasons of honor killings is having unapproved relationships, refusing an arranged marriage, rape, marriage outside caste and many more. In India, the basic reason of honor killing is couple marries outside their caste or religion. The Supreme Court of India issued a notice to the Centre and State Government to take steps to prevent honor killing.

The Government of India rejected Law Minister, M. Veerappa Moily’s proposal to amend the Indian Penal Code and rein in Khap Panchayats. He decided to constitute a Group of Ministers who enacts laws and looking into prevent honor killing. Some experts argued that existing laws are sufficient to prevent honor killing and some believe that we need more specific laws to tackle the menace of honor killing.

  • For the agencies of law enforcement, making the honor killing a separate offence will bring more clarity.
  • Under the new proposal law, there would be joint liability. So, the Khap Panchayat and the person who carries out the killing would be equally and jointly liable for punishment.
  • Other proposal is to amend the Indian Evidence Act. This put the burden proof on accused. And it is easy for khap panchayat family members for proving their innocence.
  • The existing penalty of offence of murder is sufficient, if they are implemented strictly and efficiently.
  • Through education, We creating awareness among traditional communities.
  • The basic issue is social sanctions like marriage outside caste, inter religion marriage. So, a new set of rules and laws are not prevent honor killing.

Some of the headlines of cases of honor killing in India:

  • Couple killed in Tamil Nadu.
  • Man killed, Wife commits suicide.
  • Man killed in Kerala’s Kottayam.
  • Man hangs daughter to death in Vijayawada.
  • Honor killing caught on CCTV.
  • Man in love with minor girl murdered.
  • Minor killed allegedly by father.

These all cases are the cases which caused due to marriage.

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