“Such killings are carried out either by the parents or other family members”
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Saturday gave Khap panchayats (caste or community councils) a clean chit on the issue of honour killings, asserting that such crimes and sins were committed by family members of the victims. However, the government, he said, had acted on every case that was reported.
Mr. Hooda, who was responding to queries at a ‘Meet the Press’ organised by the Chandigarh Press Club here, said that while the Khap panchayats had no legal sanctity, they had played a regulator because of their traditional social acceptability. These councils, he emphasised, had never ordered the killing of anyone in the State. In most of the cases “honour killings” were carried out by either the parents or other family members of the couples who had married or were in relationships without their approval. Citing an example in his home district, Rohtak, where a couple were killed, Mr. Hooda said the girl's parents and other family members were arrested, adding the boy’s family was also opposed to the relationship.
Describing “honour killings” as a sin, Mr. Hooda said there was need to launch a campaign to change people’s mindset.
On the issue of Khaps issuing diktats against “same gotra marriages,” the Chief Minister said whileas a matter of tradition such marriages were not accepted in the State, at other places in India custom favoured a man marrying his niece. But this, Mr. Hooda clarified, could not be accepted as the basis for condoning a killing.
Refuting the charge that he had a political motive in giving the Khaps a clean chit, he said: “My politics is based on the ideology of the Congress and the performance of our government.”
Mr. Hooda challenged the Opposition and his detractors to prove that during his tenure the Haryana government had handed over even an inch of farm land to private developers. Various projects that had come up in the private sector met policy requirements laid down by the government, where compensation paid to farmers had increased manifold.