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Raj Kumar Makkad (Adv P & H High Court Chandigarh)     06 March 2012

Government lacks will to tackle honour crimes: jurist

Supreme Court lawyer and women’s rights activist Kirti Singh Saturday said the government lacked the political will to tackle the issue of honour killings and claimed that a bill proposed by the government for criminalisation of honour killings was extremely limited.


Speaking at the screening of film-maker Nakul Sawhney’s documentary on honour killings, “Izzatnagari ki asabhya betiyan” at Indian Women’s Press Corps here, she said that while “this issue is very serious, it is not being taken as seriously and the government is trying to sidestep the problem”.


“I think there is very little political will to tackle the issue,” Singh claimed.


She said that while the criminalisation of honour killings was a positive step, describing honour killings as yet another type of murder meant that the lawmakers didn’t appreciate the enormity of the crime which also included harassment and torture.


“The draft bill for criminalisation of honour killings presented by the All India Democratic Womens’ Association (AIDWA) which was later adopted by the National Council of Women was more comprehensive as it also categorised other honour crimes besides honour killings,” she said.


“The AIDWA draft also held the entire ‘khaap panchayats’ culpable for the honour crimes,” she added.


Sawhney claimed that the movie was an attempt to bring out the stories of people who hade been fighting against honour crimes.


“The film showcases five Jat women who are challenging the social norms and structures and succeeding,” he claimed.

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