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How “Love Jihad” Cases Made in Uttar Pradesh, India | Islamophobia News

Muzaffarnagar, India – Last June, authorities in the Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh in northern India arrested a 22-year-old Muslim man on charges of fraud, sexual assault, and forced conversion.

Authorities alleged that the petitioner was Amandeep Kaur, a 24-year-old Sikh woman in the neighborhood of a man.

India accounts for nearly 1.7% of the population and is home to the largest number of Sikhs in the world. Despite repeated attempts by Hindu supremacist groups to club communities under the broader Hindu umbrella, Sikhs claim they are an independent religion.

“It was the case of love. They turned it into what is called a” desire named love, “Cowl told Al Jazeera when he closed the door of a small house he shared with his parents.

“Love jihad” Is a term used by Hindu political and religious rights that a Muslim man seduces a Hindu woman to marry and convert to Islam. A Hindu group claims, without evidence, that it is an organized racket conspiracy.

A year after his relationship with Usman Cresi became a public sight, Kamaru is today afraid of the unknown face, the media and those who offer “help.” But she repeats that she is not a victim – Cresi has been her agreed partner for over two years.

The couple’s trials began in October 2020, when the Uttar Pradesh High Court considered conversions for marriage purposes only “unacceptable.”

A few days later, Yogi Adityanas, the prime minister of the Saffron-colored Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), known for his anti-Islamic hate speech and policy, made a unique and ultimate statement.

Adityanas called on the crowds in the Jaunpur district prior to the by-elections of the state legislature and vowed to protect “women’s honor and dignity” from the phenomenon of “love jihad … at any cost”.

“I hide their identities and warn those who play with the respect of our sisters: if you don’t fix your way, your” Ram Nam Satya ” [a Hindu funeral chant] The journey begins, “he said.

A month after his speech, the Adityanas administration passed it Prohibition of illegal conversion of religious ordinances.

An ordinance enacted in February 2021 declares religious conversions “due to marriage, deception, coercion, or temptation” as non-bail, and if convicted, the accused faces up to 10 years in prison. did.

In June 2021, Cowl’s father was summoned to a local police station. For no apparent reason, a 63-year-old retired sugar factory worker obeyed.

“When I got home from work, I noticed that my dad was at the police station for more than two hours. I knew something was wrong. But only when I got there, this I realized it wasn’t him, it was me, “Cowl, the youngest of the three brothers, told Al Jazira.

When she arrived at the police station, she saw some men dressed in black and saffron sitting around her father. She was asked to wait.

The man surrounding her father claimed to be associated with Bajrang Dal, the youth division of the far-right Hindu nationalist group Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council or VHP).

Worried about the crowd, Cowl took out her cell phone and consulted with her brother who lives in the capital, New Delhi. But before she dialed, her phone was stolen by one of the men.

The dissonance of the voice reflected the feelings of pity and rescue at the same time. The man said he wanted her former Muslim partner to take revenge on her powerful conversion from Amandeep Cowl to “Janna Cresi.”

Our private life has become a political tool.

To Aman Deep Cowl, 24 years old

Rajiv Tuli, a member of New Delhi-based Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), told Al Jazeera when asked about the targeting of Muslim men in the “Jihad of Love” case by a Hindu right-wing group: Told to. Oversight or involvement of Hindu organizations in such anti-conversion cases. “

Formed along with European Nazism in 1925, RSS is the ideological leader of the BJP and most other Hindu supremacist groups in India. The organization counts Prime Minister Narendra Modi among the millions of lifetime members.

Cowl later learned that a fake Facebook account was created with her new Muslim name and a photo of her and Cresi.

“A friend forwarded that Facebook profile to me and I was confused. The exhibition photos were taken by Usman and I when we were in a romantic relationship, and he is often loving. I used to call me “Janna”. [heaven in Urdu].. But we were never married and neither was Jannat Qureshi, “she said.

Fearing to involve police in the matter, she tried to find the source of her social media account through acquaintances and local cyber cafes, but failed.

A man from Bajrang Dal continued to chase Kaur to file a proceeding against Qureshi. She repeatedly refused and she said she had no cases to submit. All she wanted was to contact her mother and take her frail father to her home.

However, the conversation quickly became aggressive and men’s concerns turned into threats. She was thrown into abuse and the man said neither she nor her father was allowed to return to her home until she filed her complaint.

She was worried about their behavior, looked at her father’s condition, and agreed to write and sign whatever it took to escape.

“I couldn’t see tears in my father’s eyes, but I could see everything,” she said.

Police complaints against Cresi, who she separated and is now married to a Muslim woman, were her only savior in the situation.

After nearly five hours of harassment and intimidation, Cowl was allowed to take his father home.

The “Love Jihad” bogey is fragmented, built on fake news, and designed to foster hatred and suspicion among religious communities.

To Navsharan Singh, Researcher and Rights Activist

A few days later, on June 27, 2021, Cresi was arrested. He was accused of rape, infringement of trust, misconduct, and counterfeiting, according to a complaint filed by police three months later. Three of the five claims could not be remedied.

Two provisions from the Act on the Prohibition of Illegal Conversion of Religion were also imposed on him. Another criminal proceeding was filed against Cresi’s brother Nadim.

“The next morning, my life changed. Everyone, from neighbors to colleagues, looked at me differently and spoke differently,” said Kaul, an art graduate who advised an insurance company. I did.

The aftermath of the new “Jihad of Love” incident in the community-sensitive town of Muzaffarnagar forced her to stay home. She was advised to take a break from her work.

For the next six months, Cowl consulted with several lawyers and visited the district court almost every two weeks. She was forced to rely solely on her own savings and ran her pillars to prove that the proceedings against Cresi and his brother had been forged.

“Women like Amandeep Cowl are victims of community and patriarchal nations and their norms. Under protective clothing, they are isolated and forced to fight the battles heard. “There is,” journalist Pamela Phillipose told Al Jazira.

“Private life made a political tool”

Within the first month of the enforcement of the “Love Jihad” law in Uttar Pradesh in March 2021, police registered as many as 86 cases. 79 of them are Muslims.

By November, the number had grown to 108, reaching 257. In some cases, the accused were not only Hindu female male partners, but also their family and friends.

However, the state government has not yet provided details regarding the plaintiffs in the proceedings reserved under the law.

“In the majority of cases under this anti-conversion law, the plaintiffs are not the allegedly victimized women, but their families. Despite seeking details, the state has not revealed much data.” Said Akram Akhtar Choudhary of Archam Gainst Humanity, a human rights lawyer and co-founder of the group, to Al Jazeera.

In September 2021, Choudhary filed for information rights seeking details of a case registered under the law in 59 districts of Uttar Pradesh. So far, only 22 districts have been answered, including Muzaffarnagar.

“We investigated and submitted the tariff, and we don’t know about the proceedings of the trial,” he said. A Katauri police officer told Al Jazeera when asked about Cresi’s case.

Cowl said police had no witnesses if he was suspected of converting to Islam.

“The only proof that Chargesheet had about my alleged conversion was the identification of the name of Jannat Qureshi, the daughter of Iqbal Qureshi, but that’s not me,” she said.

“I never converted, let alone created a new ID card.”

However, unlike other criminal cases in India, the liability for proof does not lie in prosecution under the “Love Jihad” law. The basic legal maxim-not guilty until proved guilty-does not apply here.

According to the law, it is the responsibility of the person who caused and “promoted” the suspected religious conversion to prove innocence beyond reasonable doubt.

“Love Jazeera’s bogey is fragmented, built on fake news, and designed to foster hatred and suspicion among religious communities,” said researcher and rights activist Nabsharan.・ Shin told Al Jazeera.

After spending about nine months in prison, Cresi was released on bail in March this year.

“My consent, agents, and fundamental rights have been violated. I don’t think I can overcome the trauma and harassment I’ve suffered, and I can’t imagine how many other women like me.” Cowl told Al Jazeera.

“Our private life has become a political tool,” she said.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/7/26/manufacturing-a-love-jihad-case-in-indias-uttar-pradesh-state How “Love Jihad” Cases Made in Uttar Pradesh, India | Islamophobia News

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