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Pro-Hindu elements protest girl’s marriage to Muslim youth


Mandya: The decision of a Hindu family to marry off their daughter to a Muslim man has enraged right-wing elements who even protested outside the family’s home at Ashok Nagar locality here on Thursday, suggesting it was a case of ‘Love Jihad’.

Ashitha, 24, an MBA graduate, was dating a Muslim man, who has been reportedly identified as Shakeel, for the last 12 years. She convinced her father Dr Narendra Babu and the rest of the family. The boy’s family also consented to the marriage which is scheduled for April 17 at a choultry in Mysuru, according to a family source. The man is also an MBA graduate.

But local BJP leaders, including C T Manjunath, Siddarajegowda and Bajrang Dal leader Manjunath, opposed the marriage. They led a crowd of protesters outside the girl’s house. They demanded why the girl was being trained in Islamic practices and the Qur’an if it was a genuine love marriage. The police later arrived at the place and dispersed the protesters. No police complaint has been lodged.

Dr Narendra Babu, a paediatrician, refuted the allegation of ‘Love Jihad’, saying his daughter had courted the man who happened to be the son of his old friend. Both the families respected their choice and arranged for the wedding, he told reporters. He said his daughter’s happiness was “more important” to him that religion didn’t not matter at all. “We have never given importance to religion or caste. We did not know about it. They were in love for the last 12 years. At first, even I thought it would be difficult as the guy is a Muslim, but later I learnt he is the son of my childhood friend. They are good people,” he said.

Ashitha appeared belligerent. “It’s my personal matter and others have no right to interfere when our families have given their consent… Even if I marry a Hindu guy, I have to practise the traditions of his family. I’m in love with him and I’m getting happily married with the consent of our parents.”

The man’s father Mukhtar Ahmed said there were no differences between the families about religion and that his family happily consented to the marriage. “The girl and boy are not uneducated, they are MBA graduates. The girl has been abroad also. There is nothing called Love Jihad. They both were in love and now they are getting married with our consent and blessings,” he said.

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