The case termed as 'love jihad' by some, involving a girl in Meerut has now fizzled out after the alleged 'victim' said on Monday that she had been forced by her family to lodge false accusations that she was first gangraped by Muslim men and then converted to Islam. The girl from Khakhrauda made the statement before a magistrate, making it a legally binding document.
While BJP UP leader Laxmikant Bajpai demanded a CBI probe into the incident, it is rather ironical since it was Bajpai and his party who had raked up the 'love jihad' issue in UP bypolls on the basis of this case. Other Hindu groups alleged that there was a conspiracy by the state government to keep the accused free and that the victim had changed her statement under duress.
According to an IANS report, officials said the girl had approached the Senior Superintendent of Police of Meerut on Saturday claiming that her parents were beating her after money stopped coming from certain Hindu leaders, who she alleged were instrumental in coercing her to lodge the false case.
She told the district police chief that she fled her house after the beatings didn't stop for a month. She feared that her family would kill her. She has also lodged a complaint with the police alleging a threat to her life from her family. She has said in the written statement that certain Hindu groups and leaders had coerced her family into making these allegations.
Interestingly, the girl's father said that his daughter needed police protection, else if she was killed, he would be "accused of honour killing", says a report in The Indian Express. He added, “My daughter was forced to give such a baseless statement... The police are working to to weaken the case of my daughter’s abduction, forcible conversion and gangrape."
The IE report notes that other Hindu groups in the region have come out in support of the father, who has alleged that the daughter has been forced to retract the earlier statement holding the Muslim men responsible for gangerape.
The head of one such group Hindu Behen Beti Bachao Sangarsh Samiti, Ajay Tyagi 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 insisted that the police was working with the ruling SP to save the accused, adds the report.
Meanwhile other political parties, including the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP), slammed the BJP for stoking up a non-issue. They added that it was BJP which has orchestrated the entire drama initially.
"The BJP owes an explanation to the people on why it raked up the matter which was unsubstantiated," said Rajendra Chowdhary, state cabinet minister and party spokesman. Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Pramod Tiwari has sought a detailed probe into the whole episode and said the role of everyone should be scrutinised.
While the case appears to have weakened given the u-turn taken by the victim, it appears that the Hindu groups are in no mood to let go of the issue at all.
Updated Date: Oct 14, 2014 10:59 AM