By Arré Bench Dec. 11, 2020
Police stopped a wedding in UP’s Kushinagar and held the couple at the police station, only letting them go when they found out that both the bride and groom were Muslim. The couple had to go to great lengths to convince police there was no forced conversion before the marriage.
The Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance 2020 is not even a month old, yet the UP government’s new “love jihad” law has already been at the heart of multiple controversies. In the latest incident to emanate from the North Indian state, police stopped a wedding in UP’s Kushinagar and held the couple at the police station, only letting them go the next day when they found out that both the bride and groom were in fact Muslim. The 39-year-old man has also alleged to The Indian Express that he was beaten by cops at Kasya Police Station where the couple was held.
‘Love jihad’: UP Police stop Muslim couple’s wedding based on rumours, groom allegedly beaten up https://t.co/VO7Tmp9xWZ
— scroll.in (@scroll_in) December 11, 2020
In this case, the couple had to go to extraordinary lengths to get the police to accept that they were both Muslim, and there was no forced conversion taking place for the marriage. Reports state the couple was only released after the woman’s family was contacted, a copy of her Aadhaar card was shared, and her brother arrived physically at the police station to confirm that her family had no objection to her marriage. The woman in question is 28 years old, and there is no law that requires an adult to obtain consent of their family before marriage. Yet, the fact that this took place shows how much scope for misuse there is in the UP government’s new “love jihad” law.
The Uttar Pradesh police on Tuesday stopped a Muslim couple from getting married based on rumours of ‘love jihad‘.
The couple was kept in custody overnight and let go only after the woman's family proved that she was Muslim by birth, not conversion.https://t.co/RGE0FyY12q
— The Wire (@thewire_in) December 11, 2020
Arrests have already been made in five cases under the new ordinance, and the blunder by the police in Kushinagar marks yet another time that it has interrupted what should be a lawful union. Last week, police in Moradabad arrested a Muslim man and his brother, five months after his wedding, despite his wife’s declaration that she had married him of her own will.
This happened in Moradabad, UP.
5 Months ago,a Hindu girl,22, married a Muslim boy Rashid with her consent, Bajrang Dal members brought girl to police station.
Moradabad Police filed case against Rashid and his brother. pic.twitter.com/jczR8RCOk3
— Md Asif Khan (@imMAK02) December 6, 2020
Before that, police in Lucknow stopped the wedding of a Muslim groom to a Hindu bride and ordered them to seek the District Magistrate’s permission to proceed.
The law, which has been widely criticised, is full of loopholes and many believe it is just another excuse to target Muslims.
From lyncing muslims on suspicion of consuming beef to stopping marriages on suspicion of love jihad. Welcome to the Hindu state https://t.co/sGujBIL0Y5
— Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) December 11, 2020
In UP, police arrested a Muslim man based on 'Love Jihad' rumours. They beat him with a belt & tortured him for hours, only letting him go the next day after finding out that the bride was also Muslim. Couples are being treated like criminals under the guise of this hateful law!
— Shama Mohamed (@drshamamohd) December 11, 2020
‘Love jihad’ rumour: Wedding stopped in UP, Muslim couple kept overnight at police station.
39-year-old Haider Ali, has alleged that the policemen beat him up with a leather belt & tortured him for hours at Kasya Police Station. Policemen must be punishedhttps://t.co/lSAXHRq6Y7
— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) December 11, 2020
With every new controversy, the flaws and biases in the UP government’s ordinance become more glaring. Still, several other BJP-ruled states, like Madhya Pradesh, Assam, and Haryana, are also considering drafting similar laws.