At a time when the police are not doing much for boys and girls who fall prey to honour killings across northern India,a group called the Love Commandos has come out to help them.
With 2,000 members at present,the Love Commandos comprise lawyers,journalists,professors,actors,students and activists who are available 24/7 on a helpline aimed to help harassed couples who want to marry against their parents wishes.
In the latest mission undertaken by them,a 28-year-old girl rescued by the group from Kapurthala district in Punjab was brought to the Capital on Thursday for medical treatment and police assistance as the authorities in that state did not seem to be of much help.
The victim in question,Neetu Kumari (name changed),was a Brahmin girl employed at a private school at Kapurthala. She fell in love with a boy from a Mahajan family,which was opposed vehemently by her family.
Speaking on the issue,Love Commandos chairman Sanjoy Sachdev said,She was locked up at home by her parents. A neighbour,who heard her screams,informed us through a friend in Amritsar on August 17. We then contacted the DGP and other senior officers there,who rescued the girl on Thursday. She had been badly beaten up. If she was not rescued,she would probably have been killed. She had injuries on her face,ribs,thighs and her eyes were swollen.
Sachdev said Neetu was brought to Delhi,where she was admitted to the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital as the local police did not provide her with protection or medical aid.
The Love Commandos have been reaching out to troubled couples,offering them counselling and different kinds of aid,since the group was formed in July 7. Stating that they received hundreds of calls on their helpline 9313784875 on the very first day of its launch,a group member said they usually ask local police officers in the area to help the victims as the first step.
If the police do not respond,we move court to seek legal protection for the couple, he added.
The Love Commandos receive most complaints from Uttar Pradesh,Punjab and Haryana,from where honour killings are usually reported.
Recently reported high-profile cases of honour killings include that of Nirupama Pathak,a 23-year-old journalist from Delhi,and Shama Shukla,a 25-year-old research scholar of PU.