After a 42-year-old “bootlegger” in Nadiad town of Kheda district in Gujarat allegedly abducted a 21-year-old woman, the VHP, terming it as a case of “love jihad”, called for a bandh on Tuesday. The VHP has warned the district administration of another stir on Wednesday if the accused bootlegger – Masum Mahida – is not arrested. The VHP activists also submitted a memorandum to the District Superintendent of Police and district collector.
A case of abduction was filed by the parents of the woman on Sunday. The Kheda police, which is investigating into the abduction case, denied it to be a case of “love jihad”.
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On Tuesday, a video, reportedly of the woman, circulated on social media, purportedly showing her requesting authorities to not view her “voluntary marriage as a case of political or religious matter”. Kheda Superintendent of Police Sachin Badshah said the police would have to verify the video as part of the probe in the matter.
The woman in the video says, “I married Masum out of my will and the allegations against him are false. I had informed my mother about my marriage about a month ago and I was confined to my house. Last week, when I was alone, I left my house with my husband. He has done a lot for me and I am ready to die for him. I urge you to not view my marriage as a political or religious matter and give us justice.”
On Monday, the VHP successfully enforced a bandh in the town, holding a protest march against the administration for “failing to control” the bootlegger. In their memorandum to the district collector and SP, the VHP has alleged that the case is a “clear example of love jihad, where Muslim men lure Hindu girls to convert to Islam through marriage”.
SP Badshah told The Indian Express that the police was not concerned with the allegation of “love jihad” and it was only probing the case of abduction. Badshah said, “The parents of the woman have alleged that their daughter has been abducted and the police is probing the case. Once we find them, we will question the woman if she was indeed abducted. The accused is a bootlegger and has other cases against under the Arms Act, prohibition cases as well as assault. He is married with two children. We have to study all the evidence as Masum’s wife also lives in his house.”