When they met each other at a friend’s wedding three years ago, little did they know their lives would turn upside down one day. The couple, both 23 now, got married on June 28 this year. Five days later, the UP police came knocking on their door to pick up the man for allegedly “kidnapping” his wife.
“We got married according to Hindu rituals on June 28… My wife’s family did not approve as I’m Hindu and she is Muslim. But we got married anyway. On July 2, her cousin and maternal uncle barged into my house, but she refused to go with them. The next day, police from UP and Delhi picked me up, saying I had kidnapped my wife,” the man told The Indian Express. The couple stay at JNU, where the man worked as a lab technician till some months ago.
The woman, a graduate from DU’s School of Open Learning, said she tried to convince her parents in vain. “We got married at a temple in Ghaziabad. The decision to convert to Hinduism was my own,” she said.
The duo was picked up on July 3 around 4 pm. They were taken to Loni police station and kept in separate lock ups till July 5. “They took away my documents and phone. I was abused and hit. I wasn’t even told where my wife was till she requested to see me the following day. We had to pay Rs 2,000 just so I could see her for two minutes,” the man alleged.
Once released, the man was sent home, and his wife to her parents. “I had no idea where she was till July 11, when she called from her father’s phone.”
His wife told him she feared for their lives. It was then that he decided to approach the court. “The matter came to me through some people, and I filed a habeas corpus petition in the Delhi High Court. They are both adults. How could they just be picked up like this?” said Dibyanshu Pandey, their advocate. Hearing their plea on July 24, the bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel directed that “she can return from the court itself with the petitioner”, since she had expressed that she had married out of choice.
Inspector Rajesh Kumar, Additional SHO of Vasant Kunj (north) police station, stated that he had no prior intimation of the visit by officers from Loni.
On the HC’s directive, two PSOs have been assigned to the couple. “Every time someone knocks on the door, she gets startled. We have stopped leaving the house because we’re scared. Life is not the same,” said the man, his wife clutching his hand.