A Muslim woman from Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh has accused former BJP mayor Shakuntala Bharti of converting Muslim girls by luring them and marrying them off to Hindu men.
For several years now, a section of Hindutva leaders across the country has made similar allegations against the Muslim community, even coining novel terms like ‘love jihad’ to prove their claims.
In this case, the complainant held a press conference on Sunday to declare that her sister married a Hindu man in Aligarh recently and has been missing since. The complainant said former BJP mayor Shakuntala Bharti protected her sister and the Hindu man and even stopped her from speaking to her. The complainant and her husband accused Shakuntala Bharti of converting Muslim girls by luring them and marrying them off to Hindu boys.
Bharti has denied the charges and said if the charges are proved right she will leave Uttar Pradesh forever.
Importantly, the woman, who went missing from her house and married the Hindu man, has said that she married on her own will and no one had put any pressure on her. She told India Today TV that they tied the knot on August 10 at the Arya Samaj temple and that no one had forced her to do so.
The woman “disappeared” from her home on August 7 after which her sister’s husband lodged a complaint against the Hindu man. He said that his sister-in-law escaped with some jewellery and cash and was willing to convert to Hinduism.
Police then registered a case against the accused man under section 363, 366 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). They traced the “missing woman” who, in her statement to the police, said she is an adult and married the boy on her own will.