Interfaith marriage triggers row in Rajasthan

Bikaner, January 17

An interfaith marriage here has led the Hindu woman’s family to allege the alliance to be a case of “love jihad”, prompting a Union minister to demand a law in Rajasthan against the alleged practice of marriage for religious conversion.

Union Minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Chaudhary demanded the law in the state despite the girl in a video statement on social media and to the police asserting that she married on her own accord and police too rejecting the allegation.

The controversy erupted after Bikaner resident Manish Dudi, 18, married 22-year-old Mukhtiyar Khan last month after a brief love affair, prompting the woman’s family to issue a statement on social media, terming the alliance to be a case of “love jihad”.

While the woman’s father, in his video statement, sought the community’s help in the matter, her grandfather threatened that he would commit suicide with the entire family members if no justice is done to them.

The video statement by her family led the woman to issue a statement, asserting that she married the man on her own will on December 10 last year and instead of her converting to the Islam, the man himself has converted to Hinduism.

She also reached the Naya Sahar police station on Saturday to give her statement to the police and sought protection from it.

The Bikaner police said it was not a case of “love Jihad” and both the youths have married as per their own free will.

“The rumours are baseless and the district police appeals to ignore such rumours,” Bikaner police tweeted along with the video message of the girl.

On the other hand, MoS for agriculture Kailash Chaudhary, who is a member of Lok Sabha from Rajasthan, said the matter of “love jihad” should be investigated properly.

“Such incidents are not good for social harmony. A law against love jihad should be enacted on the lines of Uttar Pradesh. The Bharatiya Janata Party stands with Bikaner’s family and assures them that the BJP will enact a strong law in Rajasthan to prevent such incidents on coming to power ib state in future,” he tweeted.

Besides Uttar Pradesh, where a stringent anti-conversion ordinance was promulgated last year to tackle the alleged problem of “love jihad”, some other BJP-ruled states, including Madhya Pradesh, too have been mulling an anti-conversion law and are in various stages of enacting one. — PTI


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