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11May2011_Honour Killing_gpc_002.JPG

11 MAY 2011, SISANA, HARYANA, INDIA:  Surjmal Dahiya a member of the khap panchayat , the local self government at village level, in Sisana Village, Haryana state, India. The Supreme Court of India has ruled the khap panchayat are illegal and has ordered that courts and the police be accountable for law and order in the villages. This has followed ongoing incidents of so called 'honour killings' that are the result of a couple marrying within the same sub caste known as gotra. The people of Haryana consider those of the same gotra to be brothers and sisters and couples flout this belief face severe punishment or death by parents or other family members who  face pressure to restore family honour. The khap panchayat are where the decision to kill couples found to be in a relationship are believed to be taken and formed the basis of the Supreme Court ruling. Picture by Graham Crouch for The New York Times