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UP SIT probe says there is no ‘love jihad’, rules out conspiracy, outside funding

Conclusion reached,  report submitted after probing 14 cases of  relationships between Hindu women and Muslim men lodged in police stations across Kanpur district

Sabrangindia 24 Nov 2020

Love JihadImage: National Herald

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up in September 2020, to probe alleged cases of so called theory of  ‘love jihad’ has ruled out any conspiracy angle in the 14 such cases of  relationships  between Hindu women and Muslim men, it investigated. The SIT has put on record that it found no evidence that the Muslim youth who were investigated recived any  funding from abroad. The SIT, submitted its report on Monday, and  dismissed charges that the youths had the backing of any organisation, reported The Indian Express.

According to the report, in three of the 14 cases it investigated, the SIT found that police had even filed “closure reports” in some cases after the “Hindu women, had given statements in favour of their Muslim partners” who had bee named as the “accused”. The young women, had stated that “either that they had married Muslim men or been with them of their own free will.”

This report is of great significance and in a way also refutes many claims of right wing organisations, and will add to the debates around the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government’s recent announcement that it will soon enact an Ordinance to check unlawful conversions in the state. The move is seen at being directly aimed at this so called ‘love jihad’ bogey that targets Hindu-Muslim couples.

According to the IE report, the SIT was formed by Inspector General (Kanpur Range) Mohit Agarwal soon after members of right-wing Hindu organisations, including the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, met him  and alleged a conspiracy in which Muslim youths were luring Hindu girls into marriage in a bid to convert them. They also claimed that the youths, who are being funded from abroad, had hid their identities from the girls. However, the SIT, headed by Deputy Superintendent of Police Vikas Pandey, submitted its report refuting those allegations, to Agarwal on Monday. The 14 cases. reported IE, were lodged in police stations across Kanpur district over the last two years involving Hindu girls and Muslim men.

Agarwal told The Indian Express that the SIT found that police had taken “action against the accused in 11 cases under Sections 363 (punishment for kidnapping), 366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage, etc) and other charges. In eight cases, it was established that the victims (the girls) were minors.” In three of the 14 cases, the SIT found that police had filed closure reports after the Hindu women, all above 18 years, had given statements in favour of the accused, stating either that they had married Muslim men or been with them of their own free will.

However, in the 11 cases in which action was taken against the accused men, the SIT found that in three cases, the youths had allegedly used false identities, including preparing fake documents, to impress the girls. In these three cases, police have added charges of fraud against the accused, reported the IE.

Interstestigly, while probing the alleged ‘conspiracy’ angle in these 11 cases, the SIT found that only four of the Muslim youths, against whom cases were lodged, were known to each other. And that, the SIT found, was because they lived in the same locality — Juhi colony in Kanpur. “The conspiracy part could not be established. The inquiry team also did not find any organisation to be behind the youths (accused). Also, they were not being funded from abroad,” the IE quoted Agarwal, adding that “in three of these 11 cases, the victims claimed they were forced into religious conversion. In three other cases, the girls said they were forced into marriage.” According to Police chargesheets have been filed in eight of these cases, while the process is on in the remaining ones.

According to the IE report DSP Pandey, who headed the probe, said that in those 11 cases, it was found that “established procedure was not followed while changing the names of the girls before their marriage” and the marriages were not registered under the Special Marriages Act.”

Hindutva groups have been crying ‘Love Jihad’ demanding laws against marriages between Hindu-Muslim couples for a while now. In September, Hindutva groups had raised the issue of alleged ‘love jihad’ after reports emerged of a Kanpur girl, Shalini Yadav, marrying a Muslim youth, reported the IE. In fact the young woman had shared a video clip where she said she had converted willingly and sought police protection from her parents, who, she alleged, had lodged a false FIR of kidnapping against her partner.

Soon enough UP Chief Minister Adityanath announced his government’s plan will bring a strict law to curb "love jihad" and “forcible religious conversion” in the state. Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh too have announced such plans.  Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government in Madhya Pradesh has put on record his intention to soon table an anti ‘Love jihad’ Bill in the State Assembly. 

 

 

Acting upon its intention to pass a law against 'love jihad', the Haryana government has already taken concrete steps towards it. Anil Vij, the state’s Home Minister stated that a committee will be constituted to draft the law. On November 1, Anil Vij stated “A law against love jihad is being considered in Haryana”. He had stated that this ‘love jihad’ was a disease that needed a cure. “This love jihad...it is necessary to cure it, so we can save young girls." On November 18, Vij held a meeting with Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Rajeev Arora, Haryana’s DGP Manoj Yadava, ADGP (CID) Alok Mittal, ADGP (Law and Order) Navdeep Singh Virk and a few other senior officers to discuss the modalities for enacting such a law in the state, reported Indian Express. This was the first meeting and a subsequent meeting with the Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar is expected soon.

“With the enactment of this law, strict action will be taken against any person who is found indulging in religious conversion by pressuring, tempting someone or is involved in any kind of conspiracy or trying to do so in the name of love. Haryana will also study the laws made by other states on the same subject,” Vij said, adding that the “officers of home department and Advocate General besides various other officers concerned with the subject shall be part of the committee that will be constituted soon”, reported IE.

Ironically very few politicians, including those Muslim politicians who have Hindu wives are yet to come forth and make strong statements agains the communal bogey of ‘love jihad’ coined and promoted by Hindutva groups. The silence is now empowering Bharatiya Janata Party-led states to bring in draconian ‘anti-love-jihad’ laws while claiming they are just to check ‘forced conversions’. Most of these ‘love-jihad’ allegations are to terrorise Muslim-Hindu couples, though the RW may soon start targeting other mixed religion couples, as they have done before, as well as continue to target mixed caste, or same ’gotra’ couples.

One of the rare politicians to slam the proposed ‘anti-love-jihad’ laws was Chhattisgarh Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Bhupesh Baghel. He asked whether inter-religion marriages of family members of BJP leaders will fall under the definition of ''love jihad''.  "Family members of several BJP leaders have also performed inter-religion marriages. I ask BJP leaders if these marriages come under the definition of ''love jihad''?" asked Baghel. As reported widely, his  statement was made soon after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath announced his government’s ‘anti-love-jihad’ plan. 

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot too called out the fakery that is ‘Love Jihad’ and called it a “word manufactured by BJP to divide the Nation & disturb communal harmony. Marriage is a matter of personal liberty, bringing a law to curb it is completely unconstitutional & it will not stand in any court of law. Jihad has no place in Love.”

 

 

Assam leader Gaurav Gogoi, who has a large presence among young voters, said: “Love Jihad” reveals the patriarchal and regressive mindset of RSS-BJP where they don’t believe in a woman’s right to choose her life path or partner. Bharat is the nation of strong women like Rani Jhansi, Indira Gandhi and Hima Das. BJP should not try to dictate to Indian women.

 

 

However the best slogan against the communal slur has come from the All India Students' Association (AISA): “Love Aazaad”. The powerful, pro-love chant is a slap in the face of  the malicious ‘love jihad’ rant. 

“Say it Loud, There is No 'Love Jihad''”, siad AISA and recently issued a statement which seasoned politicians are yet to. The statement recalled that this communal move was “reminiscent of the draconian Nuremberg Laws of Nazi Germany,” and that “the propaganda based notion of ‘Love Jihad’ devised by the Sangh Parivaar has been at the helm of anti-Muslim politics in India. Since 2007, fringe right wing groups like the Hindu Janagruti Samiti (HJS) have used this corrupt idea of ‘beautiful Muslim men’ wooing Hindu women with the aim of religious conversion.” In the infamous Muzaffarnagar Riots of 2013, it recalled “the gruesome violence that followed this campaign was justified by the leader of VHP like Ashok Singhal saying,  ‘society could not tolerate ‘love jihadists’.”.

According to AISA, “the policing notion of ‘love jihad’ remains entrenched in the patriarchal need to control the sexuality of women, only seeing them as objects- scapegoats for the purity and impurity of race, religion or caste. Further, the institution of Brahmanical Patriarchy legitimises for the man of the household to protect his ‘zan aur zamin’, basically equating the status of women to property. BJP leaders and RSS cadre, along with their vast network of propaganda and falsity vehemently bases the issue of ‘love jihad’ on the ‘protecting the modesty of Hindu women’, scrapping their agency, taking away their fundamental right to choose a partner. This control of sexuality in order to uphold ‘purity’ can be seen in all hierarchical institutions,” it added.

The entire statement may be read here:

Since last week, while the country faces its first officially declared recession, mainstream media has been riding high with another hate campaign ordered by its sponsors in the government. The government of Madhya Pradesh, under the BJP’s Shivraj Singh Chouhan is all set to introduce a law criminalizing what it calls ‘love jihad’. What the fascist narrative of BJP adds to this frenzy is a dedicated cadre and media based campaign to outlaw relationships between Hindus and Muslims, a further attempt to puncture the secular social fabric. 

Reminiscent of the draconian Nuremberg Laws of Nazi Germany, the propaganda based notion of ‘Love Jihad’ devised by the Sangh Parivaar has been at the helm of anti-Muslim politics in India. Since 2007, fringe right wing groups like the Hindu Janagruti Samiti (HJS) have used this corrupt idea of ‘beautiful Muslim men’ wooing Hindu women with the aim of religious conversion. In the infamous Muzaffarnagar Riots of 2013, the RSS-BJP devoted heavy machinery towards breaking the Jat-Muslim unity in UP with its extensive campaign of ‘love jihad’. The gruesome violence that followed this campaign was justified by the leader of VHP like Ashok Singhal saying, “the society could not tolerate ‘love jihadists’”. 

We believe that the policing notion of ‘love jihad’ remains entrenched in the patriarchal need to control the sexuality of women, only seeing them as objects- scapegoats for the purity and impurity of race, religion or caste. Further, the institution of Brahmanical Patriarchy legitimises for the man of the household to protect his ‘zan aur zamin’, basically equating the status of women to property. BJP leaders and RSS cadre, along with their vast network of propaganda and falsity vehemently bases the issue of ‘love jihad’ on the ‘protecting the modesty of Hindu women’, scrapping their agency, taking away their fundamental right to choose a partner. This control of sexuality in order to uphold ‘purity’ can be seen in all hierarchical institutions with precedents set by the ‘Jim Crow Laws’ of America, the ‘Nuremberg Law for Protecting German Honour and Blood’ of Nazi Germany and the ‘sacred’ profanity of the Manusmriti.

Related:

Uttar Pradesh has failed its Dalit community, especially Dalit women

Haryana to form committee for law on love-jihad

Madhya Pradesh may table anti ‘Love jihad’ bill in State Assembly soon!

Will they call it ‘love jihad’ when a Muslim girl is killed?

UP SIT probe says there is no ‘love jihad’, rules out conspiracy, outside funding

Conclusion reached,  report submitted after probing 14 cases of  relationships between Hindu women and Muslim men lodged in police stations across Kanpur district

Love JihadImage: National Herald

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up in September 2020, to probe alleged cases of so called theory of  ‘love jihad’ has ruled out any conspiracy angle in the 14 such cases of  relationships  between Hindu women and Muslim men, it investigated. The SIT has put on record that it found no evidence that the Muslim youth who were investigated recived any  funding from abroad. The SIT, submitted its report on Monday, and  dismissed charges that the youths had the backing of any organisation, reported The Indian Express.

According to the report, in three of the 14 cases it investigated, the SIT found that police had even filed “closure reports” in some cases after the “Hindu women, had given statements in favour of their Muslim partners” who had bee named as the “accused”. The young women, had stated that “either that they had married Muslim men or been with them of their own free will.”

This report is of great significance and in a way also refutes many claims of right wing organisations, and will add to the debates around the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government’s recent announcement that it will soon enact an Ordinance to check unlawful conversions in the state. The move is seen at being directly aimed at this so called ‘love jihad’ bogey that targets Hindu-Muslim couples.

According to the IE report, the SIT was formed by Inspector General (Kanpur Range) Mohit Agarwal soon after members of right-wing Hindu organisations, including the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, met him  and alleged a conspiracy in which Muslim youths were luring Hindu girls into marriage in a bid to convert them. They also claimed that the youths, who are being funded from abroad, had hid their identities from the girls. However, the SIT, headed by Deputy Superintendent of Police Vikas Pandey, submitted its report refuting those allegations, to Agarwal on Monday. The 14 cases. reported IE, were lodged in police stations across Kanpur district over the last two years involving Hindu girls and Muslim men.

Agarwal told The Indian Express that the SIT found that police had taken “action against the accused in 11 cases under Sections 363 (punishment for kidnapping), 366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage, etc) and other charges. In eight cases, it was established that the victims (the girls) were minors.” In three of the 14 cases, the SIT found that police had filed closure reports after the Hindu women, all above 18 years, had given statements in favour of the accused, stating either that they had married Muslim men or been with them of their own free will.

However, in the 11 cases in which action was taken against the accused men, the SIT found that in three cases, the youths had allegedly used false identities, including preparing fake documents, to impress the girls. In these three cases, police have added charges of fraud against the accused, reported the IE.

Interstestigly, while probing the alleged ‘conspiracy’ angle in these 11 cases, the SIT found that only four of the Muslim youths, against whom cases were lodged, were known to each other. And that, the SIT found, was because they lived in the same locality — Juhi colony in Kanpur. “The conspiracy part could not be established. The inquiry team also did not find any organisation to be behind the youths (accused). Also, they were not being funded from abroad,” the IE quoted Agarwal, adding that “in three of these 11 cases, the victims claimed they were forced into religious conversion. In three other cases, the girls said they were forced into marriage.” According to Police chargesheets have been filed in eight of these cases, while the process is on in the remaining ones.

According to the IE report DSP Pandey, who headed the probe, said that in those 11 cases, it was found that “established procedure was not followed while changing the names of the girls before their marriage” and the marriages were not registered under the Special Marriages Act.”

Hindutva groups have been crying ‘Love Jihad’ demanding laws against marriages between Hindu-Muslim couples for a while now. In September, Hindutva groups had raised the issue of alleged ‘love jihad’ after reports emerged of a Kanpur girl, Shalini Yadav, marrying a Muslim youth, reported the IE. In fact the young woman had shared a video clip where she said she had converted willingly and sought police protection from her parents, who, she alleged, had lodged a false FIR of kidnapping against her partner.

Soon enough UP Chief Minister Adityanath announced his government’s plan will bring a strict law to curb "love jihad" and “forcible religious conversion” in the state. Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh too have announced such plans.  Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government in Madhya Pradesh has put on record his intention to soon table an anti ‘Love jihad’ Bill in the State Assembly. 

 

 

Acting upon its intention to pass a law against 'love jihad', the Haryana government has already taken concrete steps towards it. Anil Vij, the state’s Home Minister stated that a committee will be constituted to draft the law. On November 1, Anil Vij stated “A law against love jihad is being considered in Haryana”. He had stated that this ‘love jihad’ was a disease that needed a cure. “This love jihad...it is necessary to cure it, so we can save young girls." On November 18, Vij held a meeting with Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Rajeev Arora, Haryana’s DGP Manoj Yadava, ADGP (CID) Alok Mittal, ADGP (Law and Order) Navdeep Singh Virk and a few other senior officers to discuss the modalities for enacting such a law in the state, reported Indian Express. This was the first meeting and a subsequent meeting with the Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar is expected soon.

“With the enactment of this law, strict action will be taken against any person who is found indulging in religious conversion by pressuring, tempting someone or is involved in any kind of conspiracy or trying to do so in the name of love. Haryana will also study the laws made by other states on the same subject,” Vij said, adding that the “officers of home department and Advocate General besides various other officers concerned with the subject shall be part of the committee that will be constituted soon”, reported IE.

Ironically very few politicians, including those Muslim politicians who have Hindu wives are yet to come forth and make strong statements agains the communal bogey of ‘love jihad’ coined and promoted by Hindutva groups. The silence is now empowering Bharatiya Janata Party-led states to bring in draconian ‘anti-love-jihad’ laws while claiming they are just to check ‘forced conversions’. Most of these ‘love-jihad’ allegations are to terrorise Muslim-Hindu couples, though the RW may soon start targeting other mixed religion couples, as they have done before, as well as continue to target mixed caste, or same ’gotra’ couples.

One of the rare politicians to slam the proposed ‘anti-love-jihad’ laws was Chhattisgarh Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Bhupesh Baghel. He asked whether inter-religion marriages of family members of BJP leaders will fall under the definition of ''love jihad''.  "Family members of several BJP leaders have also performed inter-religion marriages. I ask BJP leaders if these marriages come under the definition of ''love jihad''?" asked Baghel. As reported widely, his  statement was made soon after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath announced his government’s ‘anti-love-jihad’ plan. 

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot too called out the fakery that is ‘Love Jihad’ and called it a “word manufactured by BJP to divide the Nation & disturb communal harmony. Marriage is a matter of personal liberty, bringing a law to curb it is completely unconstitutional & it will not stand in any court of law. Jihad has no place in Love.”

 

 

Assam leader Gaurav Gogoi, who has a large presence among young voters, said: “Love Jihad” reveals the patriarchal and regressive mindset of RSS-BJP where they don’t believe in a woman’s right to choose her life path or partner. Bharat is the nation of strong women like Rani Jhansi, Indira Gandhi and Hima Das. BJP should not try to dictate to Indian women.

 

 

However the best slogan against the communal slur has come from the All India Students' Association (AISA): “Love Aazaad”. The powerful, pro-love chant is a slap in the face of  the malicious ‘love jihad’ rant. 

“Say it Loud, There is No 'Love Jihad''”, siad AISA and recently issued a statement which seasoned politicians are yet to. The statement recalled that this communal move was “reminiscent of the draconian Nuremberg Laws of Nazi Germany,” and that “the propaganda based notion of ‘Love Jihad’ devised by the Sangh Parivaar has been at the helm of anti-Muslim politics in India. Since 2007, fringe right wing groups like the Hindu Janagruti Samiti (HJS) have used this corrupt idea of ‘beautiful Muslim men’ wooing Hindu women with the aim of religious conversion.” In the infamous Muzaffarnagar Riots of 2013, it recalled “the gruesome violence that followed this campaign was justified by the leader of VHP like Ashok Singhal saying,  ‘society could not tolerate ‘love jihadists’.”.

According to AISA, “the policing notion of ‘love jihad’ remains entrenched in the patriarchal need to control the sexuality of women, only seeing them as objects- scapegoats for the purity and impurity of race, religion or caste. Further, the institution of Brahmanical Patriarchy legitimises for the man of the household to protect his ‘zan aur zamin’, basically equating the status of women to property. BJP leaders and RSS cadre, along with their vast network of propaganda and falsity vehemently bases the issue of ‘love jihad’ on the ‘protecting the modesty of Hindu women’, scrapping their agency, taking away their fundamental right to choose a partner. This control of sexuality in order to uphold ‘purity’ can be seen in all hierarchical institutions,” it added.

The entire statement may be read here:

Since last week, while the country faces its first officially declared recession, mainstream media has been riding high with another hate campaign ordered by its sponsors in the government. The government of Madhya Pradesh, under the BJP’s Shivraj Singh Chouhan is all set to introduce a law criminalizing what it calls ‘love jihad’. What the fascist narrative of BJP adds to this frenzy is a dedicated cadre and media based campaign to outlaw relationships between Hindus and Muslims, a further attempt to puncture the secular social fabric. 

Reminiscent of the draconian Nuremberg Laws of Nazi Germany, the propaganda based notion of ‘Love Jihad’ devised by the Sangh Parivaar has been at the helm of anti-Muslim politics in India. Since 2007, fringe right wing groups like the Hindu Janagruti Samiti (HJS) have used this corrupt idea of ‘beautiful Muslim men’ wooing Hindu women with the aim of religious conversion. In the infamous Muzaffarnagar Riots of 2013, the RSS-BJP devoted heavy machinery towards breaking the Jat-Muslim unity in UP with its extensive campaign of ‘love jihad’. The gruesome violence that followed this campaign was justified by the leader of VHP like Ashok Singhal saying, “the society could not tolerate ‘love jihadists’”. 

We believe that the policing notion of ‘love jihad’ remains entrenched in the patriarchal need to control the sexuality of women, only seeing them as objects- scapegoats for the purity and impurity of race, religion or caste. Further, the institution of Brahmanical Patriarchy legitimises for the man of the household to protect his ‘zan aur zamin’, basically equating the status of women to property. BJP leaders and RSS cadre, along with their vast network of propaganda and falsity vehemently bases the issue of ‘love jihad’ on the ‘protecting the modesty of Hindu women’, scrapping their agency, taking away their fundamental right to choose a partner. This control of sexuality in order to uphold ‘purity’ can be seen in all hierarchical institutions with precedents set by the ‘Jim Crow Laws’ of America, the ‘Nuremberg Law for Protecting German Honour and Blood’ of Nazi Germany and the ‘sacred’ profanity of the Manusmriti.

Related:

Uttar Pradesh has failed its Dalit community, especially Dalit women

Haryana to form committee for law on love-jihad

Madhya Pradesh may table anti ‘Love jihad’ bill in State Assembly soon!

Will they call it ‘love jihad’ when a Muslim girl is killed?

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