Author: Nath, Tripti
Date published: May 24, 2010
Recently a Karnal court awarded the death sentence to five persons and life imprisonment to a Khap leader in the infamous Manoj-Babli murder case. Honour killings, however, continue to hit the headlines with sickening regularity, the latest being the unexplained death of journalist Nirupama Pathak at her home in Jharkhand. Women activists and civil society organisations are increasingly raising their voices against this crime and specifically against khap panchayats, or rural caste councils, who are often responsible for these killings. In a strongly-worded letter to the President of India they have demanded that action be taken against khap leaders, who make statements glorifying such murders. They also want state governments and courts to take cognisance of various media reports on such 'honour' killings in North India and institute inquiries into them.
* 'I was sure they would have killed her. I consulted a lawyer and lost no time in sending emails to the National Commission for Women, Delhi Commission for Women, the All India Democratic Women's Association and Jagori. I shudder to think of her fate had I not built up this pressure.'