One honour killing a month in Punjab

Every month one honour killing takes place in Punjab. As per data complied for the first time by the Crime wing of the Punjab Police, during the past two-and-a-half years from 2008 till date 34 honour killings have taken place in the state: 10 in 2008, 20 in 2009, four so far in 2010. Of the total 34 cases, 16 were reported from Tarn Taran district.

Perhaps one of the most backward areas in Punjab in terms of literacy, Tarn Taran has witnessed the highest number of honour killings in the state.

Last month, a newly wed couple was attacked, the girl was killed and the boy grievously injured. The parents of the girl were the main suspects in the case. The victims, Gurleen Kaur (19), husband Amarpreet Singh (25), his mother Kuljit Kaur (50) were sleeping at their home in Brahamaniwal village in Tarn Taran district when they were attacked. Gurleen and Kuljit were murdered. Singh's both hands were chopped off, besides he suffered a bullet injury on his head.

In earlier cases, Balkar Singh and Randeep Kaur were killed near Jhabhal and Sandip Singh and Prabhjit Kaur were gunned down in Patti in April in the same district.

In yet another case, Pardeep Singh Gabbar and Kiranjit Kaur were murdered near Gharinda village last month. Their bodies were thrown into a drain.

In 2008 three such cases were reported, last year saw 11 such killings in the district, and this year two such killings have already taken place in the district.

Honour killings have also been reported from Bathinda (five cases since 2008), Sangrur (three since 2008). Two such killing were reported each from Patiala, Kapurthala, Amritsar and Ludhiana since 2008.

R S Sandhu, Professor of Sociology in Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, said, "The incidents of honour killings are taking place in cases where the boy is from a lower caste and the girl from upper caste. These are being reported from the backward areas of the state such as Tarn Taran where the literacy level is low."

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