Describing honour killings as "murder", NHRC chairman Justice K G Balakrishnan today sought a change in the social mindset to root out such acts while underlining the need for a "scientific investigation" of these cases.
"It is a complex issue. There are enough laws to deal with these cases. The so called honour killing is murder and prompt action should be initiated with scientific investigation to book the culprits", he told PTI after inaugurating a seminar on 'Tradition, Culture and Human Rights', organised jointly by NHRC and University of Pune.
Balakrishnan said proper education was needed to effect societal changes to understand that young people should be given liberty to marry as per their wish and live their own life.
"We need to change the social mindset. It is their own children. These people (who indulge in honour killing) are otherwise honourable", he said.
Expressing satisfaction over around 99 per cent compliance by state governments on NHRC recommendations on various human rights violation cases and compensation paid to victims, Balakrishnan said the violations included, among other things, police atrocities, encounters, denial of health facilities etc.
In current year, 61,000 cases of compliance have so far been noted by NHRC, he added.
"We also have a team of lawyers who screen spurious complaints and give us a feedback", Balakrishnan said, adding the commission was doing outsourcing whenever faced with manpower constraints.
He said principles of human rights will assume importance if basic needs of citizens are taken care of.
"Level of economic development in a country had a direct bearing on the civil and political rights of citizens and its implementation," Balakrishnan added.
"NHRC as a statutory body was acting in tandem with the spirit of Constitution to create a conducive atmosphere for protection of civil rights and strive to achieve socio-economic justice to all citizens," Balakrishnan said.
Noted Gandhian Prof Nandakishore Acharya in his address underlined the need to change the aggressive mindset of those who indulged in "honour killings", saying the harmony between the individual and society would help eradicate such crimes.
Pune University Vice Chancellor W M Gade said it was a pity that despite several laws in place, social malpractices like honour killing, dowry and female foeticide are still continuing.
"Why the systems in place not been able to change the mindset of certain people?", he said while appealing to the NHRC chairman to establish a chair at Pune University for the study of human rights and related activities.
Change of Mindset Needed to Curb Honour Killings: KGB
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