Honour-killing: a sub-continental phenomenon

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

The Guardian, UK

At least 900 so-called honour killings take place in three Indian states – Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh – every year, according to research to be released published next week. A large number go unreported as families try to pass them off as natural deaths. Honour killing in the south and east of India is rare. The UN Population Fund estimates around 5,000 women die in this way every year worldwide, the vast majority in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.

According to one recent study, – 172 incidents and 230 honour-killing victims worldwide – the average age of those killed is 23. In the UK, 10 to 12 women are killed for this reason every year. In March this year, a Haryana court sentenced five people to death for murdering a couple on the orders of a “khap panchayat”, a traditional unofficial local council. Among the guilty were the girl’s brother and cousins.

Last week, the Indian supreme court demanded an explanation of what steps national and state governments had taken to protect young couples. The government has promised new legislation in the next few weeks.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jun/25/honour-killings-india

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