A lesbian couple in India have been granted 24-hour police protection after family members allegedly threatened to kill them.

The women, named as Savita, 25, and Veena, 20, from Manesar, near New Delhi, married last week and went to a court to ask for protection.

They went to the court in Gurgaon, claiming that Veena had been forced into an arranged marriage with a man.

The court granted her a divorce and recognised the women as a married couple, albeit designating Savita as the husband and Veena as the wife. India does not recognise gay marriage.

They were also granted a safe house and full-time police protection, the Daily Telegraph quotes Deputy Police Commissioner Dr Abhe Singh as saying.

The court served notice on 14 of the couple’s relatives and neighbours.