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Murder before dishonor

India reports a spike in “honor killings” - but the numbers are probably even higher

India reports spike in “honor killings” — but the numbers are probably even higher

With “honor killings” reportedly on the rise in India, disobeying religious or caste customs comes at a high cost. Typically, the person responsible is a relative motivated by family honor. Indian police started tracking these homicides separately from other homicides in 2014, and a nearly 800 percent spike was documented in 2015, perhaps attributable to improvements in reporting by law enforcement. However, women’s rights activists say the scale of the issue is actually wider, for several reasons, including underreporting by affected families.

Rights groups are calling for a law that prosecutes honor killings separately from other murders. Honor killings made up 0.78 percent of India’s murders in 2015, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.

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