Khap leaders, sociologists to debate honour killings


CHANDIGARH: Khap leaders and social activists will gather in Hisar on Tuesday to discuss how honour killings could be stopped in the “khapland.” This is probably the first time when Khap leaders have been called under a central government project to stop the gruesome killings.

Khap leaders, along with other experts, will participate in the two-day workshop at Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University (CCSHAU) to tell their side of story about honour killings.

Sources said that a panchayat leader, Ganga Raj, who was convicted in the infamous Manoj-Babli honour killing case in 2010, but was acquitted by the Punjab and Haryana high court later, is unlikely to attend the workshop.

However, Lal Bahadur Khowal, who had fought the legal battle for Manoj’s family against the accused, will attend the workshop. Khowal would speak on “Challenges faced by youth in modern society regarding honour killings.”

Manoj, 23, and Babli, 19, both from Banwala gotra and Karora village in Kaithal, were killed in 2007 after they married against the wishes of the girl’s family and social traditions.

Khaps have been accused of inciting people to commit honour killings, but their leaders have been claiming that they don’t believe in such incidents, but condemn the same.

Meanwhile, a senior khap leader, Kuldeep Singh Dhanda, said on Monday that they had no role in the honour killings, but were being defamed.

President of Malik khap, Dada Baljeet Malik, who will take part in the workshop, said that family members commit honour killings to save their honour in the society when their children marry against their wishes. “But we don’t support such killings and advise the parents to keep away from the children, if they are not happy with their decision.”

Dhankhar khap chief, Om Prakash Dhankhar, who will be a panelist during the workshop, said, “Honour killings are committed by family members under pressure from the society.”

The Union ministry of women and child development has provided financial help to organize the function, said Bimla Dhanda, head of department of human resource development and family studies, CCSHAU, on Thursday. Around 100 panelists would participate in the workshop.

A link to the article can be found here.