Honor Killings Still Terrorize India’s Young Lovers

NOTICE ISSUED IN SUPREME COURT AGAINST HONOUR KILLINGS IN THE COUNTRY TO CENTRAL GOVERNMENT AND NINE STATES ON SHAKTI VAHINI PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION

ABC NEWS INTERNATIONAL USA / Police Slow to Acknowledge Honor Killings

Laws exist to protect couples who choose a “love” marriage over an arranged one, but the rules are rarely enforced. Even with the recent cases in Delhi, when relatives even confessed to the murders, law enforcement is slow to categorize the murders as honor killings.

“These are murders like all murders and we are investigating them with an open mind and still have not concluded if there is an increase in honor killings in Delhi,” Rajan Bhagat, a Delhi police public relations officer, told ABC News.

Ravi Kant, president of Shakti Vahini, hopes the recently-filed petition will begin to change what he considers an unacceptable attitude towards honor killings by law enforcement and the government.

“In some cases, couples have approached the police for protection, but nothing is done,” Kant, a lawyer in India’s Supreme Court, told ABC News. Kant said there is also a “deafening silence by the politicians” who are too concerned about votes than protecting couples.

“The killing of couples and individuals in the name of honor is violation of the fundamental right of individuals to live with dignity and it is the duty of the state to protect them, ” Shakti Vahini stated in its Public Interest Litigation (PIL). A PIL is filed when something urgent needs intervention of the judiciary.

As India moves into its position as the world’s next “superpower” a younger, educated generation is finding itself at odds with the powerful traditional values held by their parents and grandparents. India may be considered the world’s technology center, but at its heart, family still plays a protective – but sometimes oppressive – role.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/india-seeks-protection-honor-killings/story?id=10984060&page=2

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