Cell to protect  inter-caste couple starts operation

To look into complaints from inter-caste couples facing harassment and threats of honour killing.

Published: 08th August 2017 01:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th August 2017 07:31 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

MADURAI : Madurai City Police on Monday announced that a Special Cell formed to receive complaints from inter-caste couples facing harassment and threats of honour killing has begun functioning.

The Special Cell, which has been set up to protect inter-caste couples, comes under the supervision of the DCP (Law and Order), District Social Welfare Officer, and District Adi-Dravidar Welfare Officer. 

The announcement made by the Commissioner of Police Mahesh Kumar Aggarwal stated that an Inspector and Serious Crime Squad has been appointed and that the public could register any complaints at 0452-2346302.

The cell which was reportedly formed in October 2016, was set up on the orders issued by the Madras High Court in April 2016. The Court, while passing a judgment over a case of honour killing of Vimala Devi (caste Hindu) of Usilampatti in Madurai, in 2014, directed the State to create Special Cells in every district to receive petitions and complaints pertaining to harassment and threat to inter-caste couples. 

The Court also directed the Special Cells to provide protection to the aggrieved couple and to take action against family members and friends harassing the couple.Besides, the Special Cells were also ordered to create a 24-hour helpline to receive and register such complaints, besides taking proactive steps to provide counselling to the parents of the couple.

The HC in its order also mentioned that the officers of the Special Cell are to be held responsible for any untoward incidents, as it is their duty to protect the couple. Recalling the Vimala Devi case, sources said that in 2014, Vimala Devi, from Poothipuram village, near Usilampatti, eloped with one Dilip Kumar, a Dalit, to Palakkad in Kerala, when the girl’s family arranged her marriage with someone of their choice from their community.Vimala and Dilip got married at a temple and later surrendered before the Pattambi Police fearing retribution from the girl’s family. Meanwhile, a ‘girl missing complaint’ was lodged at the Usilampatti Police Station. Getting to know about the surrender, the girl’s parents took her from the station to Usilampatti. On September 27, 2014, she was found dead under mysterious circumstances. The local police closed the case, calling it suicide.

To fill the void till govt unit formed

Express, which gained access to the communication sent to the DGP, noted that the Madurai City Police on October 27, 2016, stated that orders were issued to set up the Special Cell. It also mentioned that the existing Crime Prevention Cell through Inspector and Serious Crime Squad would carry out the functions of  Special Cell until government-approved Special Cell is set up.

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