Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Murders, not honour killings

Murder is murder whoever commits it for whatever reason. Murder does not become honour killing because murderers think a marriage was against the honour of family or community.
Many times people in media talk of honour killings. They persist even after they are told that they are murders.
One anchor once said that there is no law against honour killings. There are laws against murder, conspiracy to murder and abetment to murder. They are enough. There is no need to categorise some murders as honour killings and have separate law for them. There is death penalty for murder and no punishment is higher than that. It is a different matter that death penalty is given in rarest of rare cases and presidents do not reject mercy petitions.
People in media should call these murders what they are and stop referring to them as honour killings.
It is said that Law Ministry is considering bringing a law against honour killings. There is no need for such a law. Law Ministry should consider bringing a law that makes death penalty obligatory for every murder.
For years murderers of couples who fell in love and married escaped punishment due to lack of evidence and witnesses did not come forward. Now some have got death penalty and khap panchayats of Haryana want to change the law to ban marriage within clans or villages. They have got some political support. Some who are not known to be scientific minded went on to defend khap panchayats saying the marriages sought to be banned are scientifically and medically wrong.
It is a pity that Navin Jindal, Congress MP from Kurukshetra, agreed to be the post man of khap panchayats. His party did not agree with khap panchayats’ demands.
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