A minor Muslim boy and a Class X Hindu girl who had eloped on Thursday morning from here have been traced and are being brought home after the BJP led protests threatening to make it a communal issue.
BJP workers tried to attack the boy’s house in Shastri Nagar on Friday, while party workers surrounded the Nauchandi police station, staged a road blockade for hours and beat up Muslim youths passing through the area — to press that the couple be “recovered” within 24 hours. Shops in the neighbourhood and cars passing by were attacked and damaged.
BJP MP Rajendra Agarwal called up SSP Onkar Singh and threatened to launch a massive agitation if the girl and boy were not found. “Such incidents are rising and police have failed to put a check to these. The party will not sit idle and we may also go in for a violent agitation to stop Hindu girls falling in love with youths belonging to another community,” said Agarwal.
Nauchandi Police Station In-charge Vinod Kumar Singh said the boy and girl had been traced to a location far away from Meerut. “They are likely to reach here late Saturday night,” he said.
The girl allegedly eloped on Friday morning after telling her parents she was going for a Teachers’ Day function. A friend of the girl later told them she had gone with the Muslim boy.
The family members went to the Nauchandi Police Station to lodge a complaint, but the BJP soon got involved, giving the incident a communal turn. The girl’s relatives claim he had been following the girl for six months and they had even warned him.
Meerut SP Om Prakash Singh said they had formed two teams to trace the couple.
While the UP BJP unit recently dropped the issue of ‘love jihad’ from its poll agenda, Sangh Parivar-linked organisations, including the VHP, Hindu Jagran Manch and ABVP, are joining hands to set up new fronts, particularly in western UP, to fight such alleged conversions. Meerut has been the first to see such an organisation — Meerut Bachao Manch.