Honor killing is the killing of a relative, especially a woman, who is seemed to have brought dishonor on the family. It’s a murder committed with belief that the victim has violated the principles of a community or a faith. Though both men and women commit and are victims of honor killing or shame killing. In some cultures, the code of honor has different standards for men and women depending upon the community they belong to. In most of the cases, there are stricter rules for women /girls. It also can be listed as a kind of violence when done within the family. A wide honor killing is committed by the entire community where number of members together mob lynch to kill an individual.
Reasons for honor killing
Honor killing is especially based upon Typical reasons including divorcing or separating from their spouse, refusing to enter an arranged, child or forced marriage, being during a relationship or having associations with social groups outside the family that’s strongly disapproved by one’s family, having premarital or free love , becoming the victim of rape or sexual abuse , dressing in clothing categorized as indecent by the society, jewelry and accessories which are deemed inappropriate, engaging in non-heterosexual relations , run away marriage, etc.
Sometimes honor killing could also be planned by the relatives or maybe by deciding it formally with a council. Practically, it’s not much seen within the urban areas and is far observed within the rural areas & to be more specific in typical conservative communities it prevails. Honor killing includes stoning, stabbing, beating, burning, beheading, hanging, throat slashing, lethal acid attacks, shooting and strangulation. The murders are sometimes performed publicly to warn the opposite individuals within the community of possible consequences of engaging in what’s seen as illicit behavior.
Process of completing
Often, minor girls and boys are selected by the family to act as the killers because this might help in getting a favorable legal out come. In most of the cases, the relations don’t expose the very fact & present an equivalent to the society as accident or suicide. Honor killings involve violence and fear as a tool of maintaining control. The relation between social views on female sexuality and honor killings is complex. The way through which women in honor-based societies are considered to bring dishonor to men is usually through their sexual behavior.
Forces leading to honor killing
Honor killings are often a result of strongly misogynistic views towards women and therefore, the position of girls in patriarchal society. In these traditionally male-dominated societies, women are dependent first on their father then on their husband, whom they’re expected to obey. The concept of family honor is extremely important in many communities & they believe that the sole way to remove this dishonor is by the killing of that person. In many cases, the relatives don’t directly kill the victim themselves, but force him or her towards suicide, so as to avoid punishment.
Cases of honor killing in India
MANOJ-BABLI HONOUR KILLING CASE(2007):- Manoj & Babli was having a relationship which wasn’t accepted by their community (Jats) in a particular district of Haryana. The couple thus, ran away & got married to each other. Out of anger & pride, Babli’s family wanted the khap Panchayat (religious caste-based council among Jats ) to intervene. But apparently Manoj’s mother defended the connection. The khap Panchayat prohibited the wedding & the ruling supported the idea that Manoj and Babli belonged to the Banwala gotra, a Jat community, and were therefore considered to be siblings. The couple fled faraway from the village to urge married. Though they married but was finally kidnapped by the woman's family. After the kidnapping, the couple were beaten. Her brother forced her to consume pesticide, while four other people pushed Manoj to the bottom, her uncle Rajinder pulling a noose around Manoj’s neck and strangling him ahead of Babli. They wrapped the bodies in gunny sacks and dumped them. The accused within the murder included relatives of Babli, her father, brothers & cousins. The accused were subsequently arrested.
The case was the primary leading to the conviction of khap panchayats and it was the first executory verdict in an honor killing case in India. The case was considered to be a “landmark judgement”. This was the primary case during which the groom’s family in an honor killing filed the case. The Punjab and Haryana high court commuted the death sentence awarded to four convicts. Ganga Raj, the prime conspirator and another convict Satish were acquitted.
Laws against honor killing
There is no specific act for an equivalent but few sections of Indian legal code are applicable, (i.e.) Section 302 (Murder) or Section 120-B (Conspiracy) or Section 34 (Common Intention).
Honor killing is a social evil. It not only hampers the dignity of an individual but is also against the humanity. Though we’ve many laws against this evil practice but these couldn’t completely eradicate this from our society. Existence of mere laws won’t help but implementation of those laws during a proper way will. Along side legal remedies and social awareness is far needed. When people realize their rights only then they will be able to represent themselves and also when wrong doing person realize the legal consequences, he might resist himself from doing so.
Author : Sholanki Bhowmik
Sources : wikipedia.org, feminisminindia.com & Times of India
Picture : newindianexpress.com