The Swabhimani Vokkaliga Sene has called for Mandya bandh today, alleging that Hindu women were being lured by Muslim men on the pretext of love and convinced for marriage as part of ‘love jihad’.
The bandh call comes ahead of the marriage of the city girl Ashitha with her friend Shakeel in Mysuru on April 17.
In a press release, the Sene has threatened to disrupt vehicular traffic on the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway for 15 minutes today. Few miscreants even burnt the tire.
Speaking to Deccan Herald, Superintendent of Police Sudhir Kumar Reddy said that the police would not permit any organisation to give a bandh call. Stern action would be taken against those who forcibly down the shutters of shops and business establishments on April 16, he warned.
Sena district president Siddaraju Gowda said despite the district administration refusing to give permission for the bandh, they will go ahead with their protest. Claiming that many organisations have extended support, he said the inter-religious wedding of Ashitha and Shakeel should not be an inspiration to other Vokkaliga girls. The bandh will create awareness on alleged ‘Love Jihad’, he added.
“We are not against this marriage, but we don’t want the girl to convert her religion. We heard that she has already changed her name. Why can’t the boy become a Hindu or better still let them both practice their religions even after marriage,” he said.
However, Ashitha has again clarified that hers was not a ‘love jihad’ wedding. Ashitha confirmed that neither she nor her family had any objection to her new name ‘Shayistha Sultana’ which had been printed on the wedding cards.
Meanwhile, the Mandya police have provided security for the wedding following threats from the Hindutva groups.