UP man detained after Karni Sena stops interfaith marriage
Police detained a 23-year-old Muslim man on abduction charges in Uttar Pradesh’s Ballia district after members of a right-wing Hindu group prevented his wedding to a 19-year-old Hindu woman and alleged forced conversion.
Karni Sena members handed the couple to police, police officials said on Thursday.
The man and the woman reached the office of the marriage registrar on the tehsil premises in Ballia on Wednesday but some Karni Sena members, who were present there, stopped the two from entering the office, alleging that the woman was being forced to embrace Islam to marry the man.
The Uttar Pradesh government, in November last year, outlawed religious conversions by marriage, coercion, deceit or enticement, and prescribed up to 10 years imprisonment for those found guilty
The father of the woman alleged that the man kidnapped his daughter and submitted a police complaint at the Ubhaon police station in this regard. The man has been booked under charges of kidnapping, police said.
SP (Ballia) Vipin Tada said, “The woman has been handed over to the district women and child welfare committee and the man has been detained. The woman will be presented before a magistrate to record her statement on Friday and further action in the case will be taken on the basis of her statements.”
The SP said there was no proof of love jihad -- a term used by right-wing groups to describe interfaith unions between Muslim men and Hindu women -- but refused to respond to questions on the ruckus created by Karni Sena members.
The man’s family members refuted the claims of conversion.
“ They ( the man and the woman) both knew each other for the last couple of years. They both wanted to marry, but their families were against it. The woman was forcefully married to a man in Shahjahanpur last year, but she returned home after a few months. I think they both got married secretly and went to court to register their marriage,” said the 23-year-old man’s cousin. “Now, some politically connected people have influenced the woman’s father and they are trying to make it look like a case of forceful conversion,” he added.
A purported video showed members of the Karni Sena creating a ruckus at the office of the local marriage registrar was shared online on Thursday in which the woman could be heard saying she was marrying the man willingly. In the video, the woman can be seen wearing a burqa.
With PTI inputs