Members of Karni Sena in Uttar Pradesh’s Ballia have been accused of stopping an allegedly consensual interfaith marriage of an 18-year-old Dalit girl. The girl who had been missing for a few days was found in a burqa registering her marriage at the registrar’s office.
While the Karni Sena alleged it to be a case of Love Jihad, reports suggest that the girl eloped willingly. Here is what happened.
As per a Dainik Jagran report, the girl was married off to a boy from her community three months ago. However, she returned to her home in just a couple of days after the marriage.
However, early last week the girl had gone missing from her home after which her family had filed a missing report.
Karni Sena intervenes
The girl allegedly was found in a burqa with one Dilshad Siddique (24) in Padri village at the marriage registrar’s office. On the basis of suspicion, the members questioned the girl about her name, age and village.
When the girl confessed to being a Hindu, the members allegedly created a ruckus. Karni Sena accused Siddique of Love Jihad and claimed that the girl was coerced into marriage.
With police intervention, the 18-year-old girl was handed over to her parents.
Allegedly in a video that has gone viral on social media, the girl confesses to marrying Siddique at her will. In the video, a man can be heard asking, “What is your name… What caste are you from? Which caste does the boy belong to? Is he Muslim? Why are you getting married to him?”
This Dalit girl clearly says that she is 18 year old and has come to court to marry a muslim man Dilshad willingly. But still Dilshad has been booked for “Kidnapping”. Arrest these Karni Sena goōns @balliapolice and release Dilshadpic.twitter.com/dtwNm55VPD
— Adab e Hindustan ❤️ 🇵🇸 (@adabehindustan) July 30, 2021
Refuting claims of forceful conversion, Siddique’s cousin said, “They (the man and the woman) both knew each other for the last couple of years. They both wanted to marry, but their families were against it. The woman was forcefully married to a man in Shahjahanpur last year, but she returned home after a few months. I think they both got married secretly and went to court to register their marriage.”
“Now, some politically connected people have influenced the woman’s father and they are trying to make it look like a case of forceful conversion,” he added.
Police registered a case of kidnapping
In a statement to the Indian Express, Ballia’s Superintendent of Police, Vipin Tada informed, “We have lodged a case on a complaint from her father that his daughter had been kidnapped. We will present her in court soon, where she will record her statement. Further action will be taken based on her statement, as the woman is an adult.”
“Some people alleged that illegal conversion was taking place but nothing of that sort was found. Some people had brought her to the local police station, levelling allegations of conversion,” he added.
OpIndia tried to get a statement on the matter but could not get through.
Gyaneshwar Mishra, SHO, Ubhaon police station, where the case against Siddiqui was lodged informed that a missing complaint was lodged after the girl’s father Jai Prakash alleged in his complaint that his daughter had not returned home for two days.
Jai Prakash in his complaint also mentioned that he learnt about his daughter’s whereabouts from the villagers who informed him that his daughter was being coerced into marrying a Muslim.
“He lodged the complaint on Wednesday evening after the ruckus at the court in the afternoon,” SHO Mishra said.
As per Tada, the girl will soon be presented in court to record her statement.