Ban the term ‘honor killing’ call it ‘caste based murders – Human Rights Activist Kancha Ilaiah

Prof. Kancha Ilaiah

 Kancha Ilaiah, who’s a prominent Dalit, Human and Civil Rights activist, has asked for a ban on the term ‘honor killing’ in incidents where Dalits or lower caste people are killed for marrying someone of upper caste.

“Where’s the honor in killing someone? Why are caste-based murders being labeled as honor killings? Dalits are killed for their caste, they’re caste hatred killings,” said Ilaiah.

On 14 September, Pranay Perumalla was murdered in front of his wife, Amrutha,

Amrutha, 21, belongs to a wealthy, upper-caste family, while Pranay, who was 24, was a Dalit (formerly untouchable). In April 2016, they married despite her parents’ objections. Now five months pregnant, she finds herself saying the unimaginable.

“My father killed my husband because he did not belong to the same caste as me.”

Ilaiah visited the family of P Pranay Kumar, the Dalit man who was hacked to death in Telangana by his father-in-law, for marrying an upper caste woman. Ilaiah said that caste-based discrimination and killings should be election issues in Telangana.

Notably, hundreds of activists and members of human rights organizations have visited Pranay’s home in Miryalaguda to console his pregnant wife Amrutha, and family.

The security had to be tightened outside Pranay’s house in Mutthireddykunta, as agitated members of Dalit organizations raised slogans calling to fight against the caste discrimination.

“A lower caste man marrying an upper caste woman is seen as a crime punishable by death. There can be no honor in killing a human being,” S Venkatesh Naik of the Bahujan Left Front (BLF), said.

Meanwhile, Amrutha Varshini and her in-laws today requested a fast-track court to be set up to take up the murder case of Pranay.

“If the accused are released on bail, they will use all their influence and money to try and derail the case. So we requested that the case should be taken up in a fast-track court,” said P Balaswami, Pranay’s father.

Amrutha’s father, who is an influential real estate developer, was upset with his lone daughter marrying a Dalit.

Nalgonda SP, AV Ranganath, said he was obsessed with bringing his daughter home and thought killing Pranay would help his plan. During interrogation, he said he was more concerned about his ‘prestige’ than Amrutha’s happiness.