Interfaith marriage sparks tensions in Karnataka, couple seeks police protection

Soon after their request for police protection, Hindutva outfits rushed to the police station and staged a protest on the night of Wednesday, May 9

Tensions prevailed in Bagalkot city of Karnataka after a Hindu boy and a Muslim girl got married in a temple and sought police protection.

The couple belonging to different faiths reportedly got married against the wishes of their parents on April 28. Following their marriage, the couple approached the Superintendent of Police (SP) office on May 8 seeking help for security reasons. Soon after their request, Hindutva outfits rushed to the police station and staged a protest on the night of Wednesday, May 9.

The agitated Hindutva protesters, claiming to represent the Hindu boy’s family, claimed that “police supported the Muslim girl’s family and demanded that the newly-married couple be handed over to them, stating that they wanted to ‘protect’ the Hindu boy.

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The protesters further claimed that they were not against the marriage, they were concerned that Muslim outfits might choose the wrong way to end this marriage which could be a threat to the Hindu boy.

However, the situation turned violent when the protester’s demands were not met. They began hurling stones at the police, injuring two policemen.

In response, police resorted to lathicharge to disperse the crowd and arrested three members of a Hindutva outfit — Manoj, Kumaraswamy, and Vikram — who were leading the protest.

Amid the tension in the region, former MLA Veeranna Charantimath met with SP Amarnath Reddy, and demanded action against the police for lathicharge.

A meeting of Hindutva organisations was called in Bagalkot on Thursday. “The situation is under control as of now,” SP stated.

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