The Mandla district administration has cancelled the nikah between a tribal woman and a Muslim man at a government mass marriage event after the VHP raised objection to it, alleging that it amounted to illegal conversion. Saraswati Shivram, 22, and Saddam Sikandar Hussain, 23, both from Mandla, were among 1,001 couples who got married on April 26 at Mandla. Under the Mukhyamantri Kanyadan Yojana and Mukhymantri Nikah Yojana, marriages and nikahs are performed at the same venue.
VHP leader Awadhesh Singh said the revocation was an admission that the administration had goofed up. He said the nikah was illegal because the bride had not converted to Islam. Singh said that the VHP did not highlight the case of a Hindu boy marrying a Muslim girl under the Kanyadan Yojana.
Chief Municipal Officer of Mandla Nagar Palika C K Meshram said the couple had registered under the Kanyadan Yojana but chose to go for a nikah ceremony at the last moment. He said he was not present during the ceremony and it would have been difficult for government employees to keep an eye on so many couples.
CEO of Mandla District panchayat S S Rawat said the administration did not deposit Rs 20,000 in Saraswati’s bank account because an objection was raised on the very first day of the nikah.