Acting on a 14-month-old Madras High Court direction to prevent ‘honour’ killings, the Madurai and Salem city police on Monday formed special cells for protecting inter-caste couples against threats from within and outside their communities. The move was hailed by several politicians and civil rights activists, who have been demanding stringent action against perpetrators of hate crimes linked to inter-caste marriages.
In Madurai, the cell will function under the supervision of the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), the District Adi Dravidar Welfare Officer and the District Social Welfare Officer.
The Inspectors of the Serious Crime Squad and the Crime Prevention Cell have been designated to receive complaints from inter-caste couples facing trouble. A helpline (0452-2346302) can also be used to lodge complaints. The Salem special cell can be contacted on 90872-00100.
Welcoming the move, the Tamil Nadu Untouchability Eradication Front (TNUEF), which had filed the case in which the Madras High Court gave the direction, however, pointed out that the special cell had come into existence after a long delay.