M.P. police to build ‘safe houses’ for couples facing threats

‘Units will come up on police premises for better protection’

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.”

SC guidelines

The number of ‘safe houses’ will 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. The court, in March last year, 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.

Though the couples, provided free accommodation, would automatically be covered under the respective District Legal Service Authority for legal-aid, said Mr. Manglam, their subsistence may be provided for by other departmentsas the area doesn’t fall under the purview of the police.

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