Thursday, March 31, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Panchayats adopt resolutions against honour killing

Panchayats adopt resolutions against honour killing
Balwant Garg, TNN | Mar 31, 2011, 05.47am IST

BATHINDA: At a time when khap panchayats of Haryana and western Uttar
Pradesh are under "attack" for openly issuing "death sentences" to
couples who defy caste diktats on love marriages, the panchayats in
Punjab are passing resolutions to decry the 'honour killing'.

The support of panchayats, which is diametrically opposite to their
earlier known stance, against honour killings has come after the
suggestion of Punjab and Haryana high court, said Parampal Kaur,
District Development and Panchayat Officer, Bathinda.

The panchayats' resolutions, submitted to the state rural development
and panchayat department, state: "Panchayat would oppose tooth and
nail any attempt of such honour killing or public ostracism of couples
who marry against the wishes of their family members". The panchayats
started passing these resolutions on the directions of rural
development and panchayat department, Punjab.

Earlier, in August last year, the state government had issued
directions to all district police chiefs in the state to constitute
five-member district-level counselling cells to give assistance to the
"love birds" in marriage or those planning marriage. The cells were to
impart guidance to their parents in resolving any sort of differences
due to caste, creed and social status barriers.

Murders in the name of "honour" do not happen only in "uncivilized"
hinterlands, but often enough even in elite sections of cities. In
most cases, counselling of parents and lovers helps defuse the
tension, added Vishav Jyoti Dhir, a short-story writer who is also
member of District Honour Killing Counselling Cell in Faridkot.

The high court's suggestion to the state government had come after it
decided a civil writ petition "Asha versus State of Haryana".

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