In a shocking incident, an HIV-infected couple and their four children were ostracized and are being forced to sleep on pavements, after an NGO disclosed the identity of them to their neighbors in Jodhpur.
The family has been sleeping on pavements outside the local railway station after their neighbors 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 km from Jaipur.
"The man and his wife are HIV infected. An activist of an NGO had come to the couple's house in Ambedkar Colony for counseling them a fortnight ago. He asked for directions to their house from some neighbors and mistakenly disclosed that the couple was suffering from AIDS," a police officer told IANS.
"The neighbors 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," said the officer.
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 medial and health department officer said that disclosing the identity of an HIV-infected person is punishable under law.
"The victims or their family can register a first information report against people who disclose the identity of an AIDS patient," said the officer.