By Asad Rehman
An interfaith wedding was stopped, allegedly by activists of Karni Sena, at a local court in Ballia district by labelling it a case of “forced conversion and love jihad”, the police said on Thursday.
The workers of the Hindutva outfit then allegedly forced the woman to go to Kotwali police station, where police officers intervened and handed over the 18-year-old woman to her parents, until she gives a statement in court.
The incident took place on Wednesday.
Ballia’s Superintendent of Police, Vipin Tada, said, “We have lodged a case on a complaint from her father that his daughter had been kidnapped. We will present her in a court soon, where she will record her statement. Further action will be taken based on her statement, as the woman is an adult.”
Tada also said, “Some people alleged that illegal conversion was taking place but nothing of that sort was found. Some people had brought her to the local police station, levelling allegations of conversion.”
The SP said the woman has been “handed over to her family and will soon record her statement in court”.
A video shared on social media shows the woman being heckled by some men, allegedly belonging to the Karni Sena, while she purportedly says that she is getting married — to one Dilshad Siddiqui, 24 — willingly. In the video, a man, who purportedly identifies himself as a Karni Sena worker, is heard asking the woman: “What is your name… What caste are you from? Which caste does the boy belong to? Is he Muslim? Why are you getting married to him?”
To this, the woman apparently said that she comes from a Dalit community, is an adult, and is willingly getting married to the man.
According to the video, Siddiqui, who comes from Padri village under Ubhaon police station limits, was also questioned and threatened. He reportedly fled from the court premises following the ruckus.
In another video, which appears to have been shot subsequently at the police station, a group of people are heard talking to the woman. “How can you do this to your parents who raised you, gave you an education,” a man is heard asking her outside the police station.
Gyaneshwar Mishra, SHO, Ubhaon police station, where the case against Siddiqui was lodged, said the woman’s father, Jai Prakash, has alleged in his complaint that his daughter had not returned home for two days and that he had heard some people, including Siddiqui, had coerced her and were getting her married. “He lodged the complaint on Wednesday evening after the ruckus at the court in the afternoon,” SHO Mishra said.
This story first appeared on indianexpress.com