Armed with a list of cases from Kanpur police stations involving Hindu-Muslim couples in the past two years, a nine-member team headed by a Deputy Superintendent of Police-rank officer is looking into allegations of “love jihad”. The probe follows claims about such cases in the area by right-wing Hindu organisations, including the VHP.
One of those alleged cases fell flat recently after the woman testified before a magistrate that she was a major and had married a Muslim youth of her own volition.
Inspector General, Kanpur Range, Mohit Agarwal said, “The inquiry would find out if is there any connection between Muslim youths involved in such cases. The probe team would also look into the conspiracy part and see if youths are being funded from abroad.”
The police team, headed by DySP Vikas Kumar Pandey, is looking at allegations regarding 11 such cases. The investigation includes collecting information on the couples, recording statements of their family members, as well as checking call detail records of the Muslim youths, Pandey said. Sources said their bank accounts will also be checked.
IG Agarwal said a group of people had met him recently to seek such a probe. He refused to say who they were, except that they were “locals”.
Assistant Superintendent of Police, Kanpur, Deepak Bhuker said the team was only conducting an “inquiry” to see if there was any “planning” behind the incidents, and not an “investigation”. “The team started its inquiry around a week back and will soon complete it,” Bhuker said.
DySP Pandey, who heads the team and is Circle Officer, Govind Nagar (Kanpur), said they had contacted local police stations and sought a report from them on “such cases” and then collected information on the couples.
“We are finding out where and how they met. Has any person played the role of a middleman? The police team is also collecting details from their relatives and friends. We are also finding out if any of the Muslim youths had hidden their real identity. We are also studying call detail records of the youths found involved in such matters,” said Pandey, adding that they could look at cases other than the 11 they were probing now, depending on what they find.
One of the alleged cases involves a 21-year-old who left home in July and put up a video a few days later saying she had married a Muslim man and converted. She sought protection saying her parents had lodged a false FIR of kidnapping against him.
Suresh Singh, the Senior Sub-Inspector of Babupurwa Police Station, which probed the case, said the couple had approached the court and the woman had told a magistrate that she had married as per her choice. Since the woman is a major, there was nothing for the police to do and they would conclude the investigation, Singh said.
Another case the team is looking at is from Naubasta, of a Muslim youth called Fateh Khan, who is accused of passing himself off as Aryan Malhotra, and owning separate Aadhaar cards under the two names. The Hindu family in whose house he had rented a room for the past two years had later accused him of abusing their minor daughter.
Station House Officer, Naubasta Police Station, Kunj Bihari Mishra said they had recovered both the Aadhaar cards carrying the same photo. He had since been booked on rape charges and jailed, Mishra said.
VHP sah mantri of Kanpur region, Deen Dayal Gaur, said they had gone to meet the IG, Kanpur range, last month because they “suspected that Muslim youths were targeting Hindu girls who are from poor backgrounds”. Muslims youths involved in such cases hid their real identities from the girls, Gaur said. “We requested the IG to look into such cases, and also check if these youths are being funded from anywhere,” he said.
Bajrang Dal’s Kanpur zila sahyojak Naresh Tomar said, “We demanded from the IG Kanpur to conduct a thorough investigation into such cases so that the conspiracy could unearthed.”
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