Goghamba taluka of the Panchmahals district in Vadodara was tense Friday. The local traders downed shutters after protests over an alleged case of “love jihad” following a reported elopement of Mohammad Shahid Hussain Shaikh (20), with an 18-year-old girl from the Ghot Faliya in the locality. In the complaint filed by the girl’s father accusing the man of abduction, the girl too is named an accused for theft of Rs 45,000 and family gold worth Rs 38,000.
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Local traders, accompanied by residents and former BJP MLA Fatehsinh Chauhan took out a protest rally carrying banners saying, “Those eyeing Hindu sisters and daughters, stop or else…” and handed over a memorandum to the police. According to the police, the tension began on Thursday evening, hours after two allegedly eloped. The girl’s father, a local barber approached the police and filed a case of abduction with the police. Locals urged the police to locate the couple, failing which, they would take to the streets.
On Friday, as the couple remained untraceable, the local traders joined by Chavan downed shutters demanding action. When contacted, the girl’s father said, “It is completely untrue that my daughter is in love with that boy (Shahid). He has enticed and brainwashed her to elope with him. The two of them entered the house on Thursday and robbed the gold and money before he took her away on his motorcycle. I want her back to show her the real face of this man. Even he forcibly marries her, it would be an illegal marriage as both are not of marriageable age.” The complainant said he had warned his daughter to break ties with Shahid as he was “not a suitable boy”.
PSI SS Variya said, “We are not probing any love jihad case but the complaint of abduction of the girl as alleged by her father. Only when we record the statement of the girl will we be able to tell if she was forced to commit theft before being kidnapped.”