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According to the Police in Jodhpur, After an NGO disclosed the identity of an HIV-infected couple to their neighbours they and their four children have been ostracised and are being forced to sleep on pavements.

The family has been sleeping on pavements outside the local railway station after their neighbours beat them up and forced them to leave their house when they came to know that they were HIV positive.

The couple lived in Jodhpur’s Ambedkar Colony.

Police said a complaint has been registered at Sursagar police station in Jodhpur, 330 kilometres from Jaipur.

According to the Jodhpur Police, “The man and his wife are HIV infected. An activist of an NGO had come to the couple’s house in Ambedkar Colony for counselling them a fortnight ago. He asked for directions to their house from some neighbours and mistakenly disclosed that the couple was suffering from AIDS.”

The officer mentioned, “The neighbours feared that the couple would spread the disease among others in the colony, so they beat them up and forced them to leave. As they had nowhere else to go, they are spending nights in front of a railway station.”

He added that the police are taking cognizance of the incident and a complaint has been registered through a court under section 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedural (CrPC).

A senior medical and health department officer said that disclosing the identity of an HIV-infected person is punishable under law.

The office added, “The victims or their family can register a first information report against people who disclose the identity of an AIDS patient.”

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