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Delhi govt issues SOP for protection of interfaith couples; sets up 'special cell', 24-hr helpline

The government said the existing 181 toll-free women helpline of the Delhi Commission for Women will serve as a round-the-clock helpline to receive from inter-faith and inter-caste married couples complaints of threat and harassment and provide necessary assistance.

March 27, 2021 / 06:31 PM IST
Representative Image (Reuters)

Representative Image (Reuters)

The Delhi government has issued a standard operating procedure (SoP) for the protection of inter-faith and inter-caste couples from harassment and threats and directed setting up of 'special cells', headed by deputy commissioners of police, to look into such matters. According to the SOP, the government will provide accommodation in its 'safe house' to those couples whose relationship is being opposed by their families or the local community or khaps.

The government said the existing 181 toll-free women helpline of the Delhi Commission for Women will serve as a round-the-clock helpline to receive from inter-faith and inter-caste married couples complaints of threat and harassment and provide necessary assistance. "The telecallers trained to handle distress calls and already aware about available services can provide necessary assistance/advice to the couple in distress. If required, they can be further trained to handle such calls," stated the SOP issued by the social welfare department.

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It stated that after hearing the couple, the DCP of the area concerned, who will perform as head of the 'special cell', will bring the entire facts to the knowledge of the district magistrate and convey their requirement for stay in 'safe house'. Earlier this week, violence had erupted at southeast Delhi's Harijan Basti in allegedly connection with an inter-faith marriage. The Delhi Police has arrested several persons for their alleged involvement in the incident.