In at least two inter-religion relationships in western UP, the roles in conversion have been reversed from what protesters have been associating with “love jihad”. In one instance, it is a Muslim family that fears its daughter will be made to convert to Hinduism; in the other, it is the boy rather than the girl who is allegedly under pressure to convert to Islam.
Such relationships are frequent but these are the first cases — the police have been approached in each — that have cropped up after various Sangh Parivar leaders have taken up a movement against what they call “love jihad”.
One couple have married; they are from Muzaffaranagar. On Friday, Sanjay a.k.a. Sonu of Jasoi village and the Muslim girl reached the office of IG (Meerut zone) Alok Sharma seeking security from the threat they perceived from the girl’s family. They had with them an Allahabad High Court directive to the Muzaffarnagar police to take security measures for them and for medical tests to establish the girl’s age.
“They came to me but since the court has directed the Muzaffarnagar police to make the arrangements, I asked them to wait in my office until a team from there arrived to escort them to their district,” the IG told The Indian Express.
The police were escorting them to the Muzaffarnagar district hospital when the girl’s family got to know of it and reached there with others of their community. Angry at seeing her dressed like a Hindu girl, they allegedly beat up the boy inside the hospital and also attacked policemen before the latter managed to take the couple to safety.
It had begun with a complaint of kidnapping filed by the girl’s father in Muzzafarnagar on September 9. He alleged Sanjay had the previous day demanded Rs 5 lakh as ransom, and expressed fears his daughter would be converted forcibly. The police traced the couple to Allahabad, but by then they had contacted the IG.
“They have not yet been handed over to their families as the girl’s statement has to be recorded and a medical examination has to be done. They are under police security,” said SSP (Muzzafarnagar) Har Narain Singh.
The Dalit boy in the other romance is from Rataul village under Khekda police station in Baghpat district. He is apparently torn between his religion and his Muslim girlfriend, reluctant to convert but not willing to break up the relationship either, though villagers have held a panchayat twice trying to persuade him.
Villagers have met subdivisional magistrate Narendra Singh alleging that the boy, Pappu, is under pressure from the girl’s family to convert and that her brothers have even circumcised him. “I have instructed the police to deal with the case on a priority as villagers fear communal violence,” Singh said.
“We have posted additional forces in the village to prevent trouble,”said Bhoj Raj Singh Pundeer, in-charge of Khekda police station. “But there is nothing we can do if the boy is ready to convert.”