Mangaluru: A 23-year-old Muslim man from Karnataka’s Mangaluru is currently critical after a mob of right-wing activists stabbed him, because he was accompanying a Hindu woman on a bus.
The incident took place in coastal Dakshina Kannada district, in a bus en route Bengaluru from Mangaluru on Thursday night. It was not ascertained how the group of attackers came to know of the victim, his identity and his travel details.
The man, identified as Anwar Mohammad, was accompanying his friend from school to Bengaluru who had a job offer in the city. At around 9:30 pm at night, the bus was stopped at Pumpwell circle by a group of men who raised questions about the interfaith duo traveling together.
In the commotion, the man was stabbed with a sharp object. The woman was attacked and sustained injuries too, police said.
An FIR has been registered for attempt to murder (IPC section 307) among other sections at the Kankanady police station in Mangaluru. No arrests have been made so far.
Meanwhile, several news reports claimed that the mob had members from Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal.
In fact, after the incident took place, a WhatsApp message did rounds which read: “Ongoing Operation by Bajrang Dal Today (Thursday). A Hindu young woman who was fleeing with a Muslim man was travelling from Mangaluru to Bengaluru. Bajrang Dal activists stopped the couple near Pumpwell.”
VHP, on the other hand, said that they had stopped and questioned the couple because it was a case of “love jihad”, but said that it was another group that turned violent. “We were trying to save the girl from love jihad. But after the mob gathered and turned violent. Police are investigating the case,” a VHP office bearer told Hindustan Times.
This incident comes at a time several states in the country, including Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, have introduced laws regulating inter-faith marriages, deemed by right-wing activists as “love jihad”.