“Apprehending harm from her parents,” a 22-year-old woman approached the Delhi High Court last month, seeking “adequate protection” after she was “rescued” from her parents’ house in Bihar by local police in coordination with the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW). The woman was rescued in September after her live-in partner, who works in Delhi, wrote to DCW about how “the woman had been forcibly taken back to Bihar by her parents”.
DCW chief Swati Maliwal told The Indian Express that the woman’s partner, a 25-year-old man, said the woman’s parents had a problem with the interfaith relationship, as the man belongs to a minority community. On September 17, she was placed in a shelter home in Patna, and later in a shelter home in Delhi. She told the court that “she does not want to stay with her parents and is desirous of getting married” to her partner.
In the order dated October 23, the Delhi HC directed the SHO of a police station in Delhi “to make inquiries from the petitioner and evaluate the threat perception. He shall take such steps as warranted, if necessary, to provide such protection to the petitioner, as he considers necessary.”
The court has also asked the police to file a status report two days prior to the next date of hearing on November 16.
DCW member Firdos Khan said the man told the commission that the couple had met in Delhi and had been living together in the NCR region when the woman’s parents forcibly took her away. DCW said the man also alleged that he was beaten up by them.
“He managed to speak to her a few times over the phone, and said that the woman feared that her parents might harm her. He shared the call recordings with us, in which she said she feared what her parents might do. When we called her, the number was switched off. He didn’t know her exact address but knew her father’s name and that they lived near a Bhagwati Sthan Mandir in Madhubani district,” said Khan.
She said that the DCW contacted SHOs of various police stations in Bihar’s Madhubani district and traced the woman. A DCW official said, “We contacted the concerned District Magistrate and asked him to help the police in providing a safe shelter to the girl. As there were no shelter homes available in the vicinity, she was taken to a shelter in Patna. After several attempts, she was brought to Delhi via train and reunited with her partner.”