Published: 01st November 2020
UP CM Adityanath's remarks on 'love jihad' leaves inter-religious couples worried for safety
Fringe outfits who function as moral police, in particular, will go berserk and the state police will also get an excuse to target inter-faith couples, some couples worry
A day after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that his government would make a strict law to curb 'love jihad', several couples from different religions on Sunday apprehended the misuse of the provision by police and asserted that it would also tantamount to infringement of their right to religion.
Referring to Allahabad High Court's remark that "conversion just for the purpose of marriage was unacceptable", Adityanath had on Saturday said that the state was working to bring a strict law against 'love jihad' and warned that those involved in 'forced conversions' would be sent on 'Ram Naam Satya' journey. "Fringe outfits who function as moral police, in particular, will go berserk and the state police will also get an excuse to target inter-faith couples. I have personally faced this harassment when I got married to Sneha. Even the police targeted us and we would have been stoned to death if a local politician had not come to our rescue," said Irfan Khan, who married Sneha Srivastava in 2018 in Prayagraj.
The couple, both software engineers, thereafter moved to Jamshedpur. Another inter-faith couple, Aslam and Adhya, who are planning to marry in December with their families' consent, are also apprehensive. "After we got engaged two months ago, some Hindu activists came to my house and asked my parents to give a written complaint against Aslam. They said they would 'set right these Muslims'. Now our parents want us to shift the wedding destination outside the state because we do not want trouble at the venue," said Adhya.
The couple are now looking for their wedding in Rajasthan or Goa. All relatives have been informed. "We may even push forward the marriage date if all arrangements are not possible in a short time," said Aslam, who works in a private bank and has put in an application for transfer outside UP. Shafiq and Tisha are another couple who are wary of the implications of the proposed law. Both are in a relationship and plan to marry next year. "It took us three years to convince our parents but now they are very apprehensive about our welfare. It is not easy for them to shift to another place at their age but they have nevertheless asked us to find alternate jobs before we get married. As soon as we get the jobs, we will go for a low-key wedding," said Tisha who works in a telecom firm and so does Shafiq.