LAHORE - A young man shot and killed his teenage sister for bringing shame to the family in the suburb of Lahore, a police officer said Thursday. The killer has been arrested, the officer said.

The killing took place in Mandiala village located in the limits of Hydyara police station yesterday morning. The body was shifted to the morgue for autopsy.

Police investigators identified the victim as 18-year-old Iqra Bibi who was killed by her brother Muhammad Usman at their village house. The murder suspect told the investigators that he killed his sister “because of her character.”

An investigator who witnessed the body said that “the girl was shot in the mouth and face”. Police filed a murder case under section 302 of the PPC against the accused. Further investigations were underway.

Violence against women is quite common in this male-dominated society. According to official statistics available with The Nation, at least 328 persons were murdered for bringing shame to their families in 2015, 404 in 2014, 388 in 2013, 366 in 2012, and 364 in 2011.

Large majority of the victims were young women who were butchered by their relatives for bringing a ‘bad name’ to the families or communities.

The data collected by the provincial police department reveals there was no let-up in the incidents of ‘hour killings’ despite the government’s declarations to bring the culprits to justice. Hundreds of women including teenage girls are killed every year in the name of honour. However, only a handful of these killers are brought to justice. Most of the culprits go scot-free because the law allows other family members to pardon a killer.

In early October, a joint session of the Parliament unanimously approved anti-honour killing and anti-rape bills moved by PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar. The legislation on honour killings introduces strict punishment for the convicts making it tougher than the ordinary murder cases.

Under the new law relatives of the victim would only be able to pardon the killer if he is sentenced to capital punishment. However, the culprit would still face a mandatory life sentence of twelve-and-a-half years.

Rights activists say the incidents of honour killings are taking place in our society because of lack of education. The honour killings are a cultural practice and it is very difficult to stop it without changing the cultural norms, they argue.