In Adityanath's UP, can cops ever catch up with Hindu Yuva Vahini
The cost of the frenzy that the Sangh Parivar has stirred over inter-faith marriages in India is going up with every passing month. Close on the heels of the Supreme Court's unequivocal assertion that adults can make their own choices, a shameful incident in Uttar Pradesh has shown that the Parivar and its outfits are not ready to back down.
Members of Hindu Yuva Vahini and Vishwa Hindu Parishad reportedly thrashed three Muslim men in the premises of a court in Baghpat, accusing them of 'love jihad'.
'Love jihad' is a concept invented by the Parivar's proponents to malign inter-faith marriages in the country and essentially further their Islamophobic politics. In pursuance of this ghost they have conjured, members of the Parivar do not care that they are assaulting the rule of law in the country, and on not one but multiple counts.
In the latest incident, these men had reportedly approached an advocate in Baghpat to help one of them in getting married to a Hindu woman. The adult couple had fled Punjab and had gone to UP because they were finding it problematic to get married in Punjab, the woman's home-state.
Inter-faith couples in India often face such situations when their families do not support their relationship. In this case too, the girl's family was reportedly hostile to this relationship and filed an abduction case against the man with Punjab Police.
Keeping the case in mind, UP Police handed the couple over to Punjab Police, but only after failing in their duty to protect the couple from harm. A video circulating on social media clearly shows some men thrashing the Muslim men even as policemen are escorting them to a police vehicle.
Baghpat Superintendent of Police Jai Prakash confirmed that the assailants had barged into the chambers of the advocate whom the couple were consulting and started beating the man.
Baghpat district president of Hindu Yuva Vahini, Nitin Chaudhary, and Baghpat city president of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Vicky Chaudhary, reportedly admitted that they were indeed present at the spot. Nitin Chaudhary denied allegations of assault but asserted that the man who was thrashed was “trying to fool the girl by marrying her as a part of his 'love jihad' scheme and also had plans to sell the girl for Rs 50,000.”
One can understand that UP Police was duty-bound to hand the couple over to Punjab Police because of the abduction case but what doesn't make sense is the apparent pussy-footing in dealing with the lumpen elements who thrashed the Muslim men.
Baghpat SP said a complaint was taken from the couple and a case for assault was registered, but against unidentified persons. UP Police must first explain how is it that the men belonging to the said radical outfits succeeded in laying their hands on the men in police's presence?
Second, when everything happened in front of the police, why has the case been filed against “unidentified persons”? Additionally, the alleged assailants are well-known faces locally. Why is the UP Police hesitating from identifying them?
These men are guilty of not only interfering in a private matter concerning adults but also of taking the law into their own hands and indulging in violence. They should immediately be apprehended and strict action should be taken against them. Why is the UP Police not showing promptness in this case?
Is it because none other than the present Chief Minister of the state, Yogi Adityanath, is himself a proponent of the concept of 'love jihad'? It is well-known that he has invoked the term repeatedly and has used it to cultivate his image as a Hindutva hardliner.
Is it because the CM himself heads the Hindu Yuva Vahini, the organisation whose men were at the forefront of this attack? While UP Police will have to answer these questions, it is incumbent upon Adityanath himself to say if he approves of this act by the outfit he heads. Will police ever be able to hold the Vahini accountable till the CM is its head?
Edited by Joyjeet Das