Everything is not fair in love these days in Uttar Pradesh, where anti-conversion law is being slapped against many citing 'Love Jihad' or 'Romeo Jihad', thus, blocking many interfaith relationships.
A Muslim youth who flew down from Bengaluru to Lakhimpur Kheri to meet a Hindu girl whom he had befriended online, was surprised when he was beaten up and then taken to a police station and detained overnight on alleged grounds of love jihad.
According to a report in the Times of India, even though a local right-wing outfit insisted that the law enforcement officials should press anti-conversion charges against the 21-year-old youth, the police took him into preventive detention on Sunday evening and released him on a personal bail bond on Monday.
Friendship on social media
The man reportedly used to work as an engineer in Bengaluru and he had befriended the girl, a teenager, on social media around April last year. Since it was her birthday, the man had traversed the long distance wishing to see and surprise her. So, he booked a flight, bought gifts — a soft toy, chocolates and sweets — and headed for her house in Lucknow.
But hardly did he know that his surprise visit would take a drastic u-turn. When he reached the girl's home, after a short enquiry by the girl's family, neighbours gathered and soon a group of right-wing outfit members joined them. They started beating him up, one of them called 112 and informed the police. It was a case of "forced conversion," they insisted.
The man was then taken to the police station where he showed all the gifts he had brought along with him to surprise the girl and the flight tickets. He hails from Deoria and works in Bengaluru.
Suneel Kumar, SHO of Sadar Kotwali, where he was detained, said, "The girl's family said they felt threatened by him. But they did not want to file a complaint so no FIR was registered. We 'challaned' him under Section 151 of the CrPC (to prevent commission of cognisable offence). He was produced in the court of the sub divisional magistrate on Monday, who ordered his release on a personal bond."
As to why he was taken into detention, a senior police officer who did not want to be named told TOI, "We cannot confirm just with the ticket if he came to see the girl. He may have been here for other work. His detention was a preventive step as he may have stalked the girl and harmed her. He got bail because her family didn't lodge a complaint."
"Love jihad" is a term used to claim that Muslim men lure Hindu women into marriage in order to force them convert to Islam. The ruling BJP has enacted a legislation in Uttar Pradesh and many cases have been registered in the state under the anti-conversion law.