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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Don’t harass LGBTQ+ activists: Madras HC tells police

The judge said that a specific clause is to be added in the Police Conduct Rules providing that any harassment by them to the persons belonging to the LGBTQ+ community and/or to the activists and NGO workers, will be treated as misconduct and will entail a punishment for the same.

By: PTI | Chennai |
September 2, 2021 8:43:31 am
Madras High CourtMadras High Court. (File)

The Madras High Court on Wednesday directed the police department to refrain from harassing activists and those belonging to NGOs working for the LGBTQ+ individuals, and not just the people who belong to the community.

Justice N Anand Venkatesh gave the direction when the writ petitions from two women–aged 22 and 20 years— from Madurai came up for further hearing, Wednesday.

Passing orders, the judge said that a specific clause is to be added in the Police Conduct Rules providing that any harassment by them to the persons belonging to the LGBTQ+ community and/or to the activists and NGO workers, will be treated as misconduct and will entail a punishment for the same.

The duo from Madurai was initially friends. Later their relationship turned into same sex orientation and they became partners. Following their parents’ resistance to their relationship and complaints to the police, they fled to Chennai and presently they are living with the support of the organisations on the subject in Chennai and were in search of a job.

They moved the Madras High Court for a direction to the police not to cause harassment and sought protection from any form of threat or danger to their safety and security from their respective parents.

The judge, after subjecting himself to counselling to know more on the issue, on various occasions issued several directions to the State and its police department.

When the matter came up Wednesday, the judge was told that the police were harassing and abusing the activists too, who helped the LGBTQ+ community members.

The judge also said that sensitization programmes should be conducted for the police through persons belonging to the community and/or the activists and NGO workers involved in this cause.

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