‘Love Jehad’ shooter turns women’s idol and girls’ inspiration

  • Saumya Mishra, Hindustan Times, Ranchi
  • Updated: Sep 25, 2014 17:36 IST

National-level shooter and ‘Love Jehad’ victim Tara Shahdeo is now a national inspiration for women, especially after she took a strong stand against her husband who reportedly tortured her to convert to Islam a month after their marriage.

Shahdeo’s husband Ranjeet Kohli alias Rakibul Hussain not only concealed his religious identity from her but also tortured her when she refused to convert, the stand that has hoisted Shahdeo as a national idol for women.

Chairperson of the Jharkhand State Commission for Women, Mahua Manjhi said, “When I met her, I said that the best revenge from a man who used to hit her and wanted to damage her spinal cord would be to get an Olympic medal.”

Manjhi applauded Shahdeo’s spirit and said that it takes a huge courage for a woman to speak about their harrowing experiences. At a time when crimes against women are on the rise in Jharkhand, girls and women in the state have taken a vow not to suffer any more.

A few girls from schools and colleges of Ranchi met Shahdeo at her residence on Tuesday and told her that they were proud of her and that she had become a role model for them to whom they look up to.

They said that she had given them strength not to suffer any kind of exploitation. Arti Behera, president of Nari Shakti Jharkhand Mahila Sangathan, an NGO working for women’s rights in the state, said, “We are extremely proud of the way Shahdeo has carried herself and today many women are drawing strength from her to speak out against the exploitation meted out to them,” she said.

“She is a very gutsy woman because of whom the sensational revelation of involvement of a number of high- profile people in this case has come to light.”

Annapurna Devi, social welfare and women and child development minister of Jharkhand, who met Shahdeo on Tuesday, said, “I can understand a woman’s pain very well. The steps taken by Tara show her courage and she need not fear about anything.”

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