India Rights Group Urges Ban On Term 'honour Killing'
NEW DELHI — A government body in India that lobbies for women's rights called Thursday for the term "honour killing" to be dropped when referring to the murder of people accused of bringing shame on their family.
India has for centuries seen killings that often target young couples who have relationships outside their caste or against their relatives' wishes and are murdered to protect the family's "honour".
"There is nothing honourable in such killings. It is barbaric and shameful murder," Charu Wali Khanna, a member of the National Commission of Women (NCW), told AFP.
"The word 'honour' in the media or in law tends to legitimise the motive of the crime," she said.
The NCW, which advises the government on all issues affecting women, called for the term not to be used in any official documents and legal papers or by politicians.
While there are no established figures, an independent study in 2010 suggested that as many as 900 such murders were committed every year in the northern states of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.
Many others go unreported, with police turning a blind eye to what some see as an acceptable form of traditional justice by families seeking to protect their honour.