The Uttar Pradesh police have formed a nine-member Special Investigation Team to probe cases of interfaith marriages in Kanpur, inspector general Mohit Agarwal said. Agarwal said the SIT has been given 10 days to complete the probe after a woman’s family claimed she was a victim of “love jihad”.
Radical Hindu groups have popularised the term “love jihad”, which they use to describe what they believe is an organised conspiracy of Muslim men to trick Hindu women into marriage. In February, junior home minister G Kishan Reddy told Parliament the term “love jihad” is not defined under the laws and no such case has been reported by any central agency.
The SIT probe has been ordered even as the woman recorded her statement in Delhi’s Tis Hazari court, saying she married on her own volition. The case fell flat but the Vishwa Hindu Parishad joined the family in staging a demonstration in Kidwai Nagar alleging a pattern in five interfaith marriages. As of now, the SIT has 15 such cases to look into.
Agarwal said apart from tracing links between Muslims in such cases, the team would explore the conspiracy angle and look at whether the men were receiving overseas funding.
Deen Dayal Gaur, a local VHP functionary, said, “They are a result of a well-hatched conspiracy to target the Hindu girls; most of them are minor as per our inputs.”
The SIT is pursuing the case of a Muslim man, who allegedly adopted a Hindu identity, and allegedly abused a minor after renting a room in her house.