The march began from Lal Mahal and ended at Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj Statue at Deccan on Sunday. (Rahul Raut/HT PHOTO)

Members of different Hindutva outfits under the aegis of Sakal Hindu Samaj on Sunday took out a protest march in Pune against “love jihad”, illegal conversions and cow slaughter. The march was attended by large number of people with BJP MLAs from city also participating in it.

The ‘Hindu Jan Akrosh Morcha’ started at the historical Lal Mahal and culminated at the statue of Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj in Deccan area, a distance of about 5 km. The morcha organisers demanded the death anniversary of Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj, eldest son of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, be declared as ‘Balidan Din’ (Martyr’s Day).

Sambhaji Maharaj was tortured to death on the orders of Mughal emperor Aurangazeb in 1689. Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Shivendra Raje Bhosale, his counterpart from Hyderabad, T Raja Singh, and several political leaders joined the rally.

“Cases of love jihad, illegal conversions, cow slaughter etc have increased in the country. I demand the state government, as well as the Centre, bring a law against love jihad,” Singh said. “Love jihad” is a term often used by right-wing activists to allege a ploy by Muslim men to lure Hindu women into religious conversion through marriage.

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