National

‘Safe houses’ for inter-faith couples in MP

Acting on the Supreme Court’s direction to States to set up ‘safe houses’ for couples facing threats for marrying outside caste or religion, the Madhya Pradesh police have decided to set up such units across the 53 districts. “There is nothing honourable in honour killing. Rather, it is a dishonourable act,” said Anvesh Manglam, Additional Director General of Police (Crime Against Women and Children).

Stating that a proposal was sent to the State government for the construction of composite buildings having the units, he said, “The top floor of the building, on police premises, will have safe houses dedicated to individuals or couples requiring protection. The other floors will have regular police offices so that there is security round-the-clock. If we construct separate buildings, security will be an issue.”

The number of ‘safe houses’ would vary with each district’s requirement. “If the local police comes to know of a person or a couple facing threats of honour killing or the likelihood of such a threat, they’ll consider such cases based on the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court,” said Mr. Manglam.

In March last year, the apex court had directed States to not only provide protection and logistics to couples facing threats during their weddings, but also accommodate them in ‘safe houses’ for at least the first year of marriage. The directions were to be implemented by States within six weeks of being issued.

The State police have gone a step further to offer the protection to anyone facing such threats — individuals or couples, whether planning to get married or not. “Circumstances may differ. There may be couples, parents, wives and even members of LGBTQI community requiring protection,” he said.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 2:11:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/safe-houses-for-inter-faith-couples-in-mp/article29103479.ece

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