Meerut love jihad case: A learning lesson for all political parties

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Meerut case: A lesson for politicos
The victim of 'love jihad' in Meerut on Monday shocked all by taking a U-trun from her previous statement and confessing that she was neither sexually assaulted nor forced to convert her religion.

It must be remembered that the news of forced conversion of a Hindu girl in a Madrasa spread like a wild fire and almost took the area on the brink of a communal riots in the region. This had even given a chance to the BJP to raise the controversial issue of love jihad, but the party had to pay the price for the same in the UP by-polls when the party was decimated by ruling Samajwadi Party.

What is the Meerut love jihad case?

A 20-year-old girl who happened to be a teacher at Madrasa in Uttar Pradesh's Meerut district had in the first week of August had accused Mohammad Sanaullah and his two aides of kidnapping, gang raping her and later forcing her to convert her religion.

The girl's father had on August 2 lodged a complain that village head Nawab along with five others abducted his daughter on July 23 and took her to a Madrasa where they allegedly raped and illegally confined her.

The entire case of gang rape and forced conversion had triggered tension in the area and local BJP leaders raised the issue of 'love jihad'.

Girl retracts from previous statement, blames family

The 20-year-old girl has even admitted that she eloped with one of the three accused, a Muslim, and that it was her kin who were influenced by political parties had pressurised her to make such allegations.

The victim's current statements vindicate the Uttar Police's stand that it was not a case of 'love jihad' the way it was being projected.

Notably, the cops had been consistently contradicting the victim and family's statements and said she was operated for ectopic pregnancy at Meerut Medical College on July 23 and not in Muzaffarnagar as she had said in her statement.

Secretary (Home) Kamal Saxena told reporters in Lucknow, she was accompanied by Kaleem, another accused, to the hospital and he was named as her husband in the records before the surgery.

"It was mentioned that she was wife of Kaleem and he was present at the time of operation. This is the fact which has come to fore during investigation for which documentary evidence is available. It is confirmed that the girl operated upon and this girl are same," he said.

"The girl was one-and-a-half month pregnant which has been confirmed by the test and which is part of the report," the Secretary (Home) said

The girl has even accused her family of threatening her to life as she was in love with a boy of another community.

An attempt to disturb the communal harmony in the area?

If the victim's fresh statement are to be believed then the entire issue was fabricated by vested interest groups to disturb the peace and harmony in communally sensitive state of Uttar Pradesh. Hence, the entire issue shows that an attempt was being made by politically motivated groups to once again frame the Samajwadi Party government in the state that has so far failed to contain the law and order situation in the state. Also, by raising the issue of love jihad, just before the by polls in UP, seems these groups wanted to polarise the votes.

The police must thoroughly probe into the matter and find those who influenced the girl's family members to give a normal case of honour killing.

A lesson for political parties

The incident has once again set an example in front of the political parties that they must not jump into controversial issues without which can back fire at them. The parties must try and pressurise the government agencies to act fast in such cases but try not to politicise them unless truth comes to fore or have ample proof.

One can take the example of the BJP's failure in the recently concluded assembly bypolls in UP in which party, that had won 71 seats in the Lok Sabha election, could win just three of the 11 seats it had contested. Raking up the issue of love jihad particularly the Meerut case, the BJP contested in the assembly by-polls but it back fired on the BJP itself as the voters didn't buy them.

Also, something of the same sort happened during the Badaun gangrape case, in which two teenage Dalit girls were allegedly raped and hanged on trees by upper caste men. Almost every party tried to earn political mileage of the horrific incident that brought shame to the entire nation. But fresh evidence in the entire case prove that it was perhaps the family of the two girls who killed their daughters for having an affair with the boy from a different community. And that the issue of gang rape and murder was fabricated.

Hence, both these cases could be a lesson for every political party to think twice before jumping into controversial issues and later paying the price.

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