NEW DELHI: Four married couples staying in a shelter home run by an NGO were allegedly being ill treated, illegally confined, and forced to pay arbitrary sums as “fees”.The NGO ‘Love Commandos’, located in Paharganj, had gained popularity after its appearance on television show Satyamev Jayate for providing shelter and protection to young couples facing the threat of honour killing.
All four couples were below the age of 25 years and had approached the NGO after hearing about it online or elsewhere. The couples were rescued with the help of the police, and following the recording of their statements, an FIR was registered in the matter and the owner has been arrested. A team from Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), along with social work experts, inspected the home on Tuesday night and observed that the NGO’s founder was illegally confining and extorting money from the couples behind the “façade of providing a safe home” to them.
“It was learnt that four couples were staying there who had married against the wishes of their parents. All four couples were being ill-treated, illegally confined by force, and were forced to pay huge arbitrary sums as fees,” said a statement by DCW.The residents said that the NGO’s founder would often get drunk at night and misbehave with the girls, and would force the boys to drink alcohol with him.
“If anyone was suffering from any illness, the staff refused to take them to a doctor. The residents were made to do all the work of the home, including cleaning and cooking, and were made to even do odd personal jobs of the staff, like pressing their feet, cooking their food etc,” it said.The irregularities first came to light after the commission received a complaint from a couple on Monday about lapses in the functioning of the home.