The police in Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar stopped a Muslim couple’s wedding took them in custody based on a rumour of “love jihad” on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the groom, 39-year-old Haider Ali, has accused the police of torturing him for hours at the Kasya police station in Ahirauli.Twenty-eight-year-old Shabeela Khatoon and Ali were released the next day after her brother arrived at the police station from Azamgarh and said that the family has no objection to their wedding, the Indian Express reported. The wedding was finally performed on Wednesday.
On late Tuesday evening, following a phone call where “miscreants” claimed that a Hindu woman was being forcefully converted to Islam through marriage, the police landed up at the wedding venue and stopped the ceremony.
The police raided Ali’s house in Gurmiya village and took the couple and the cleric, who was to solemnize the marriage, to the Kasya police station. However, cops have claimed that all of them were released soon after it was confirmed that the bride and the groom are of the same religion and there was no merit or scope of “love jihad” allegations.Kasya SHO Sanjay Kumar told the Express, “We let Ali and Shabeela go after she said in her brother’s presence that she did not want to go with her family and would marry Ali. Her brother said if she wanted to get married, they did not have any objection,” blaming the blunder on “miscreants”.
Meanwhile, Circle Officer Piyush Kant Rai said that the bride’s family had lodged a missing person’s report at Mubarakpur Police Station in Azamgarh after she left home on December 4. “The two knew each other for the last around one-and-a-half years,” he said. The police received the information from a few locals of the village who said they had heard that a ‘love jihad’ marriage was going to take place, Rai added.
However, Rai said that the act of spreading such dangerous misinformation “did not amount to criminal charges” and that their swift action was due to the “tense atmosphere”.
Meanwhile, Kushinagar SP Vinod Kumar Singh denied Ali’s allegations of torture. “It was not like the couple were brought to the police station in secret. Also, the matter was soon sorted… There was no reason to beat up anyone,” Singh said.
Ali has alleged he was beaten up with a leather belt, while Shabeela was kept in a different room. “One of the policemen asked another to skin me. I tried to talk to them. When Shabeela heard me crying, she panicked. The policemen asked her about her family but she was scared. Only around 9 pm could I convince her to tell the police her brother’s number,” the report quoted Ali as saying.
Shabeela’s family has said that they had to send a photograph of her Aadhaar card and made a video call, so as to convince to police for releasing them.
Meanwhile, the village watchman of Ali, Mushtaqeem, has admitted making the call “on a tip-off by some Hindu youths”. He said that the Hindu locals Hindu locals approached him claiming that there was a case of ‘love jihad’ wedding and he thought “it was his duty to inform about it to the police”.