BHUBANESWAR: The state government has prepared a (SOP) for the police to prevent , stemming from inter-caste or inter-religion marriages. The government also plans to construct ‘safe house’ in districts to provide temporary shelter to couples, who are harassed by their family members or community.
“We have issued guidelines to (SPs) on Tuesday to identify vulnerable pockets where inter-caste or inter-religion marriages earlier triggered tension. Local police stations should gather intelligence about congregation of meeting of people of different communities over inter-caste or inter-religion marriage in their regions,” a senior home department officer told TOI.
“We plan to set up safe houses in districts to accommodate couples, who face threat due to inter-caste or inter-religion marriage. There is also a plan to set up special cells in districts to receive complaints relating to harassment of couples of inter-caste/religion weddings. The cells will have police officer and district social welfare officer,” the home department officer said.
Though honour killing is not alarming in Odisha, director general of police R P Sharma said the law enforcement agency is alert to meet any exigency. “We have asked local police stations to remain vigilant and take prompt action against people, who promote honour killing,” Sharma said.
Sources said neither the police headquarters nor the Crime Branch has any data on exact number of honour killings reported in the state in last few years. Two months ago, Odisha’s Koraput district witnessed a sensational ‘honour killing’. A minor girl and her 20-year-old lover were allegedly murdered on June 20 by her family members as they were opposing the couple’s love affair. On July 24, the Koraput district police arrested five persons, including the girl’s father and brother in connection with the killings. The bodies were thrown on the railway track apparently in a bid to give it a suicide angle, police said.
While two alleged honour killing cases were reported in Ganjam district in 2014, alleged murder of an 18-year-old girl by her parents at Balakati on Bhubaneswar outskirts on September 20, 2013 had sent shockwaves across the state. The commissionerate police had arrested the girl’s parents and said that the couple was opposing her plan to marry a youth of another community. In May this year, alleged murder of a minor girl in Niali block of Cuttack district triggered suspicion of honour killing, though the police did not ascertain the exact cause of her death.
Significantly, the state government last month enhanced the incentives for among Hindus from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh. The government said that the marriage in which one of the spouses belonged to the scheduled caste community and the other belonged to an upper caste, will be considered for the incentive.
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