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`Change of mindset needed to curb honour killings`

NHRC chairman Justice KG Balakrishnan on Thursday sought a change in the social mindset.

Pune: Describing honour killings as "murder", NHRC chairman Justice KG Balakrishnan on Thursday 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 said 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.


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