- 22 Nov 2020
Two abhorring and spine-chilling news broke out on 26th October, 2020. One was about an attack by uniformed personnel on a Durga Visarjan procession in Munger, Bihar for no concrete reason and the other, about a Faridabad girl who was killed in broad daylight in a Love-Jihad case. Both the crimes have sent tremors among the public and are so detestable that they compel us to retrospect and confront the power corridors in the country.
What happened at Ballabhgarh, Faridabad, 26th October 2020, 4 p.m?
21-year-old Nikita Tomar, a TYBCOM student of Agarwal college had just completed writing her final year exams and was looking for an autorickshaw to go home with one of her friends. Suddenly, a car stopped and a young boy named Touseef got down from it. He tried to pull Nikita into the car but she resisted. After she managed to free herself, the boy took out a gun, shot her at point blank range and sped away. All this happened as Nikita’s friend was witnessing the event in sheer helplessness.
What led to this heinous crime?
Within no time of this incident, reports emerged that Nikita and Touseef were schoolmates till 2018 when the former chose to graduate in commerce while the latter enrolled for a course in physiotherapy.
Nikita’s father Mool Chand Tomar alleged that Touseef had been harassing her for several months and she had filed a molestation complaint against him in September, this year. “He had been persistently calling her up for the past few weeks and pressuring her to convert to Islam and marry him, but to no avail,” Tomar said. Other family members even claimed that Touseef’s mother persuaded Nikita to convert to Islam.
The police, in an interview to TOI also confirmed that Tomar had been abducted by the same boy in 2018 after she refused to convert to Islam and get married to him. The girl’s parents had registered a police complaint for the same, then but withdrew it after the intervention of the gram panchayat.
The October 26 incident looks to have transpired solely out of ego and frustration.
This “LOVE JIHAD” incident sent ripples across the entire country as people came out in large numbers to demand justice and express solidarity with her kin. This unprecedented support forced the police to apprehend the two accused ( Tausif and the car driver accomplice Rihan ) after which Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar assured strict action against the accused. He said, “The culprit in the Ballabhgarh incident has been arrested. Strict action will be taken against the culprit. No criminal will be spared.”
Interestingly the Love Jihad murder accused have deep connections in the Congress party. According to the victim’s father, Khursheed Ahmed, a former Congress MLA of Mewat is the grandfather of Tausif and Khursheed Ahmed's brother has been a finance minister of Haryana. The uncle of accused Aftab Ahmed is a Congress party MLA from Nuh.
Surging cases of Love Jihad
Few say that the term, “Love Jihad” is just an exaggeration. Some even call it an Islamophobic phrase and brush away such incidents as isolated ones to sound politically correct, however, the fact of the matter is that Love Jihad has become a rampant silent-killer off late.
The September data confirms the trend. It says that in the last two months, more than 20 cases of Love Jihad have been recorded in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.
Usually in such cases, Muslim boys pose as Hindus and try to lure Hindu girls with expensive gifts. Rough estimates suggest that hundreds of gullible girls get brainwashed each year in this manner and end up marrying such thugs. It is only after marriage that the boy reveals his real identity. The boys then forces the girl to convert to Islam thereafter and the victims have to spend their lives in virtual confinement along with extreme sexual abuse sometimes leading to suicide as well.
In fact, pure coercion without deceit is also used as a method for conversion and marriage like the present case. Of course, the number of reported cases are just a miniscule fraction of what could be a pandora’s box of the lurking matter as most of such incidents don’t come up to the legal system due to society pressure or fear of defamation.
Some of the media reports related to Love Jihad in the last few months
All these cases insinuate towards a bigger and sinister trend- a potential way to slowly destabilise the Indian society by chicanery.
NIA Probe and astonishing Facts
In 2017, after the Kerala High Court ruled, “a marriage of a Hindu woman to a Muslim man was invalid on the basis of Love Jihad”. Hence an appeal was filed in the Supreme Court of India by the Muslim husband. The Apex Court directed the NIA to collect the "unbiased and independent" evidence related to Love Jihad.
NIA went on to explore plethora of such cases to determine if banned organisations, such as SIMI, maybe on a preying hunt on vulnerable Hindu women to recruit them as terrorists. Importantly, NIA had earlier submitted before the court that the case was not an "isolated" incident and it had detected a pattern of Love Jihad emerging in the state.
As Love Jihad is not defined under the Indian Penal Code, there is not much that the judiciary can do except that it can direct the centre to formulate a bill. The Kerala case too, has not been much pursued and is likely to meet the same fate like all others. That is why a Hindu Atrocity Act for such crimes are the need of the hour. Stay tuned for our next article in this series explaining HAA.
In September this year, there were some expectations from the Yogi Government in Uttar Pradesh when it was mulling an ordinance to curb Love Jihad cases, but not much has been done in that direction either.
Be it BJP, SP, BSP or INC, all people in power have shown callousness towards such crimes all these years. Not even a single politician across the political spectrum has come forward and taken stern measures regarding Love Jihad. All that the public gets is hollow, bombastic 140-character tweets and sometimes not even that.
Munger, 26th October 2020, a case of inhuman Police Tyranny.
In the late hours of Monday, just before 36 hours of polling, as a group of locals in Munger were on their way to immerse a Durga Idol, a violent scuffle broke out between the police and the public. The police which initially asked the locals to hasten the visarjan keeping in mind, the eleventh hour of elections, eventually started a lathi charge on them, after which a few locals were even shot at.
Watch the Video still of the lathi charge on the procession
The lathi charge by the police and also apparently by some CISF personnel is evident from the videos circulating on social media but who shot the locals is a matter of contention and can be ascertained only after a thorough examination of the bullets. Lipi Singh, SP Munger, said that ‘goons’ open fired at the people, however, eyewitnesses have called out the police for the same. Police, in its preliminary report say that they had to fire rounds in the air to disperse the crowds but locals strongly dissent from their statement.
A CISF report on the incident states that the Police fired First, raising questions on Lipi Singh’s claims.
CISF submits report on #MungerFiring; says police fired in the air first to control crowd, who were pelting stones at them. Following this, devotees pelted more stones & the CISF personnel then fired 13 rounds of bullets in air to disperse crowd@iMohit_Sharma with more details pic.twitter.com/CtljGDciVL— Mirror Now (@MirrorNow) October 30, 2020