Meerut 'Love jihad' case: In latest twist, girl's father says she can marry Muslim lover
After the Meerut 'love jihad' girl confessed that she was forced to give false statements, the father of the girl has now come out and said that she can marry her Muslim boyfriend if she wants.
The Meerut 'love jihad' saga continues to unfold with new twists and turns.
After the 'victim' confessed that she was forced to give false statements of gangrape and forcible conversion by her family and that she had willingly eloped with her Muslim boyfriend, the father of the girl has now come out and said that she can marry him if she wants.
This statement comes even as the father was earlier quoted in news reports as saying that his daughter was forced to change her statement.
He had earlier told The Indian Express, “The police are working to to weaken the case of my daughter’s abduction, forcible conversion and gangrape."
Now the father of the girl has told Times of India, "We never tried to politicize the matter. Ever since the issue was first brought to light on 3 August, political parties started approaching us. She is an adult, free to marry Kaleem. It may be a case of love jihad, but if she is happy that way, she can marry him."
He added that he wanted the case filed against Kaleem to be dropped and said that he had not expected his daughter to file a case against them. The girl had filed a complaint on Sunday with the Mahila Police Station against her parents, saying that she had run away from her house on her own free will with Kaleem, a Muslim, as there was "threat to her life" and alleged that she was also "beaten up".
In this complaint, she had also alleged that her family had forced her to file a false rape case and when she objected, they threatened her with dire consequences and that she ran away fearing danger to her life. Meanwhile the girl's father insists that it was political parties who tried to play up the issue of 'love jihad' and that he "had no intention to draw any publicity to his daughter's affairs," adds the TOI report.
It was earlier reported that a BJP leader, Vineet Agarwal had given her family Rs 25,000, although Agarwal claimed that he was only doing this to help the poor family.
Agarwal had earlier told TOI "My help should not be linked with politics. Had she been of any other religion, I would have helped just the same."
The report also quotes a neighbour Sandeep Bhardwaj as saying that the family was already facing social ostracism in the village and that, "We initially tried to help, but ever since we discovered that they've accepted money, we've kept our distance."
But Hindu groups it seems are not ready to accept that there was no 'love jihad' in the first place. The TOI notes that members of Hindu Behen Beti Bachao Sangharsh Samiti (Save the sisters and daughters struggle) were trying to talk to the father as well.
Earlier an Indian Express report had quoted Ajay Tyagi the head of this organisation, who insisted that there was a conspiracy behind the girl changing her statement and that the administration was protecting the accused.
He told the paper, "Hum Hindu beti ko kisi keemat par police ke dabao mein doosre dharm ke logon ko nahin saunp sakte (We cannot hand over a Hindu girl to members of the other community under pressure from police)." He also insisted that the police was working with the ruling SP to save the accused.
While the fringe right-wing groups are continuing to play up this issue, it is evident that for the parents of the girl the 'love jihad' matter is now over and that they wish to drop the case.
And the father's statements also make it clear that the issue was politicised by political parties in the region including the BJP which had tried to capitalise on the same in the UP bypolls.
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Rekha Sharma highlighted the distinction between a consensual inter-faith marriage and love jihad and said that the latter required attention, the National Commission for Women said in a statement