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Honour Killings in Punjab

Updated on March 1, 2014

It's my second article on honour killings.The reason being simple, there are lot of media reports that are making 'alarming signals' in our minds.The problem of 'horrific and shameful practice of honor killings' has aggravated in Punjab, one of the progressive state, where majority people have faith in Sikhism, the most modern religion, always preaching equality, human rights and caste less society. During last few months there has been number of cases reported in media as 'honor killings'. Young couples are being kidnapped and murdered. They are paying for their love with their lives and all is ending in just ‘News Headlines’.

Few days back, a panic-stricken couple appeared in Punjab and Haryana High Court, saying that their lives are in grave danger. Their crime was simply marrying against wishes of few close ones. Couple staying in protection home feared that they will be killed in 'classic way' of honor killing, as soon as they will step out. How shameful what is happening and still we claim to be modern and advance people. Our organizations, social, political and religious groups are keeping mum on the issue. Brutal killings are being done in the name of upholding family honor.

In one of the latest cases, 20-year-old youth, who belonged to a Dalit family , who had tried to elope with a girl from the land-owning Jat community, was allegedly kidnapped and murdered by his girl friend's family members in Ludhiana district on 4th July. His body was found on the bank of a canal in Badni village in Moga district of Punjab. He was missing after eloping with the girl. Acting on the complaint of the boy's family, the girl's three relatives were arrested and upon questioning they revealed having taken the boy to Badni area and murdering him. A case of murder against the trio has been registered.

In another instance of the ghastly crime, a man named Pardeep was murdered by around 10 people, including his wife's brother, in Nawanshahar on June 26. Pardeep had married Balwinder Kaur, who belonged to a different caste, in February this year. In Bhullar village of Amritsar district, a young couple was brutally killed with sharp edged weapons by girl’s family members. Later on their bodies were thrown at an isolated place. They were from same caste and were going around with each other for last few months.

Very recently on 7th July, a 22-year-old youth was killed allegedly by the parents of the girl with whom he had eloped two years ago, in Nathuchahal village of the district Kapurthala. Body of Kuldip Singh, bearing several injury marks was found in fields near Nathuchahal village, where the girl lived. As reports say, Kuldip had affair with girl and in 2009 had eloped with her. On complaint of kidnapping, he was arrested and remained in jail for 11 months before being acquitted by the court. Later boy’s family sold their property and moved to Uttar Pradesh, another state. He came to meet the girl and was spotted by parents of girl and was killed.

Protection Centres in Punjab:

In order to prevent and keep check on practice of honour killing, government has created protection centres at district level in Punjab. These centres are established to give protection to newly married couples who had married outside their castes. Where newly couples feel danger to their lives, they will be given protection besides boarding and lodging for the period of six weeks after the marriage in these protection centres. No doubt it’s a good step at administration level but there is a lot to be done in this direction. Government has to become more proactive. Providing shelters to runaway couples and mere protection will not serve the purpose.

Willingness and Actions are required:

To change the mentality of people, we have to make more practical laws. Willingness of governments is the very basic thing required. In the ‘politics of vote bank’, we are not able to take right steps. As per media reports, centre government has tried to wash its hands off the unabated rise in the cases of honour crime in the country. In an affidavit submitted to apex court, government tried to link honour crimes with personal laws. Affidavit says that government has adopted a policy of non interference in personal laws of any community.This approach of a democratic government is nothing but simply based on power politics of vote bank. No personal laws can be allowed to kill peoples as we are living in a free country.

On the other side, a little hope can be seen in Home ministry’s step to constitute a Group of Ministers to debate the need of amending the IPC ( Indian Penal Code) or a separate law on honour killings. In my opinion, a separate law is immediate need to tackle this crime. Separate courts should be formed to handle cases on priority basis. NGOs and other social and religious bodies can play their role in educating masses against honour killing. We are people having faith in humanity and we cannot tolerate such inhumane practice.

Source Reference: Note: Article is written in July, 2011, so all dates belongs to 2011


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    • Jaspals profile image

      Jaspal Singh 5 years ago from India / Australia

      Thank you dear Collisa for visiting and commenting. I am glad you appreciated this.

    • Collisa profile image

      Columba Smith 5 years ago from California

      What a horrible problem. So heartbreaking. I am glad you are writing about it. Great hub!

    • profile image

      dr sumeet pal singh 5 years ago

      this msg of mine is for all readers, guys this is the time to get up and fight for your rights. i want to know that why young couples were killed on the name of honour.rural punjab is badly effected . problem is that they idiot people dont want to hear anything. they even dont hesitate killing there own kids. are they human . goverment is doing nothing , they are just taking superfiscal steps . they are just saving there vote bank. but its time to bring revolution . now we need a modern society.. we are tied of living in this terror. jaspal singh ji im with u .. my request to every reader is that ur mere liking this article is not enough, come and join together , and raise the slogan, time need need mass movement, daily new cases of honour killling piling up ,, its now or never, get up.reply me back and join me , else i will fight alone.. dr sumeet pal singh , amritsar, punjab id

    • Jaspals profile image

      Jaspal Singh 5 years ago from India / Australia

      Thank you dear Mindofjulie for visiting and commenting. I am glad you appreciated this.

    • mindofjulie profile image

      mindofjulie 5 years ago from Durant, OK

      Very informative, and I agree with Cashmere. This may sound like a ridiculous example to compare to but: When St.Patrick converted the Irish he left them pagan symbols to represent "parts" of Christianity. Anyone wonder why the Christmas Tree is still around? Mind you the Christmas Tree didn't originate in Ireland but I think you get my idea. Transitioning from one to the other cannot be forced. It takes time and education to change the whole of a people. In every culture there is the side that is wonderful, colorful and rich. While the other side is darker and speaks of pain, suffering, and death. A culture cannot be one without the other. Hopefully in a matter of years we can say look how far India or America or some other country has come! Simply because we worked with our fellow people and not against them. I know it will take time for this to come to an end. But it's not impossible for this to be stopped,difficult but not impossible. Thank you for posting this!

    • Jaspals profile image

      Jaspal Singh 5 years ago from India / Australia

      Honor killings have been reported in northern regions of India, mainly in the Indian states of Uttarakhand, Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, as a result of people marrying without their family's acceptance, and sometimes for marrying outside their caste or religion.

      Even though there are no official figures, an independent study in 2010 suggested as many as 900 honour killings were carried out every year by orders of khap panchayats, or informal village courts, in north Indian states of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

      Lashing out at the practice in strongest terms, the Supreme Court last year ordered strict punishment for police officials and bureaucrats who fail to deal with the menace, saying that officials who fail to check them should be prosecuted.

    • Jaspals profile image

      Jaspal Singh 5 years ago from India / Australia

      Cashmere. I completely agree with your views.

    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 5 years ago from India

      The concept of honour killings may sound barbaric but is unfortunately a truth that we accept in India. It is not just in Punjab, but also in UP, Bihar and Rajasthan that instances of such killings have been highlighted by the media. The only way to stop it is to change the mindset of the people through exposure and education.

    • Angela Kane profile image

      Angela Kane 6 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Your hub is excellent. I think it is hard to correct a problem that has been happening for hundreds of years. It will take a lot of time and resources to change minds and methods, but it can be done.

    • living earth profile image

      living earth 6 years ago from UK

      This is such a shame, I have many Punjabi friends, I love Punjabi food, I'm fascinated with bhangra dancing and there are so many things that I love about Punjab. I wasn't aware that things, like honor killings still take place in that part of the world. It is really sad and it has to stop.

    • profile image

      Dia 6 years ago

      It is a shame that honor killings still exist in the society. It is all about the reputation that still many people in our society crave for. Everything they do, everything they accomplish, everything they survive is for REPUTATION.

      It is such a big disgrace for our society. Very touching article. Thanks for the post.


    • Elsa is Elsa profile image

      Elsa is Elsa 6 years ago from Anywhere - Canada most of all

      Such a horror - so much that people need to learn to respect each other, instead of be willing to kill anyone who violates rules.

      I've just read an article - 20,000 honor killings a year - and most very sanctioned by their societies.

    • Bhanu.Jas profile image

      Bhawana Salaria 6 years ago from Australia

      Hi Its Very Well Written.Its my pleasure to follow you.


    • Bhanu.Jas profile image

      Bhawana Salaria 6 years ago from Australia


      Well written.I really like the way you have written as it is really very touching.I don't know when this will end in our society.As every one has right to live in this world.As one cannot kill anyone as no-one has right to take anyones life.I wish things change.



    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 6 years ago from South Africa

      Jaspals, when I saw the title of your hub I decided not to read it, because it is such a depressing topic, and keeps me upset for days. I’m so glad to know you are not like those self-centered people with the mentality of barbarians.

      Here in our country are still barbarian ‘witch doctors’ who remove the organs of living people, especially of children, to sell to their clients as so-called medicine. Fortunately they get caught, one by one, to be jailed for the rest of their lives.

      I hope with all my heart that all barbarian practices in your country (and in mine) – including all robberies and murder – will come to an end.

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 6 years ago from Singapore

      Punjab is the leader in India, hence even more unfortunate that the Punjabis should resort to honor killings. One must remember the British stopped Sati by hanging a few culprits and a new law. Why can't the Indians do like wise ? good post and a timely reminder.

    • someonewhoknows profile image

      someonewhoknows 6 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      There is no honor in killing even if it is for self protection.Killing someone in the name of honor is itself offensive.Killing someone in self-defense or the defense of loved ones is not the same as killing someone who goes against the wishes of ones parents.The sins of the fathers are passed down to the sons.

    • Hummingbird5356 profile image

      Hummingbird5356 6 years ago

      This is a very informative hub and hopefully sometime soon people will be able to marry whoever they like without the fear of death.

      The families should be happy their children get married and do not live together. How can it be against honour when they are married?

      I look forward to more hubs from you.