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Madras HC orders special cells set up to protect inter-caste couples

india Updated: Apr 13, 2016 23:32 IST
Honour killings in Tamil Nadu

The order came after the brutal murder of a Dalit near Coimbatore by members of his Thevar caste wife’s family.(PTI Photo)

Aimed at preventing honour killings, the Madras high court on Wednesday gave a series of directions to Tamil Nadu Government, including setting up of special cells, to deal with complaints of harassment and threat to couples of inter-caste marriage and provide protection to them.

Justice V Ramasubramanian also ordered that the special cells, comprising the Superintendent of Police, the district Social Welfare Officer and Adi-Dravida Welfare Officer, should set up a 24X7 helpline to receive and register such complaints and provide necessary assistance as well as protection.

He also directed the government to set apart necessary funds for the purpose of eradicating the evil of honour killing and make available sufficient funds at the disposal of the special cells.

This fund can be utilised by the cells for providing temporary shelters to the couples and for rehabilitating them wherever necessary.

The Judge was passing the order during the hearing of a petition by one B Dilipkumar, a Dalit whose caste Hindu wife was murdered in a case of honour killing.

Earlier, he perused a report filed by Inspector General of Police, South Zone, who in his report indicated certain lapses on the part of police officers who failed to act promptly to save the girl who, along with her husband, was hounded before her killing.

The order comes close on the heels of the brutal killing of a Dalit youth near Coimbatore by a gang in full public view at a bus stand, in a suspected honour killing. The man’s caste Hindu wife escaped with injuries.

Justice Ramasubramanian suggested that since all the police stations in the state have been connected electronically through the CCTNS Portal (Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems), the government examine the possibility of auto-generated First Information Reports upon the receipt of complaints from the aggrieved couple, even through helpline.

The Judge further said the special cell formed in each district shall monitor on a regular basis the receipt of complaints through helpline or otherwise, the registration of the same and the action taken by the concerned police.

It shall be the duty of the Station House Officer of the police station, within whose limits the couple move about, to provide protection to them.