My family even even my fiance supports me. I have done nothing wrong, Shahnaz says.

Ballari Muslim woman stands up to moral police inspite of death threatsImage: Shahnaz
news Moral Police Friday, October 14, 2016 - 19:24

Shahnaz, a nurse in Ballari city has not reported to duty for the last 10 days, fearing attacks from people of her own community. All this for being friends with a Hindu man. 

The 21-year-old has registered two complaints with the district police saying that she was attacked and threatened by a group of men, however, no action has been taken so far.

Shahnaz however does not plan to stop her fight. "I have done nothing wrong. My family and my fiance are on my side and I have nothing to worry."

Shahnaz said that she met 22-year-old Manjunath at the railway station while she travelled to the hospital where she worked. 

"I have to travel close to 50 km one way- from my home in Raidurg to Ballari city. I met Manjunath who works in the station," she said. 

Shahnaz says that neither her family members nor her fiance is against their friendship. 

"I was engaged recently to a man of my own community. My mother and brother are very supportive.  However, it is the people outside, who think I have done something wrong. These people have spread rumours that I am in a relationship with Manjunath. Messages maligning me have been sent to many people,”she said

Shahnaz told The News Minute: "On October 3, I was in the park near the hospital. Manjunath, who has been my friend for two years, had come to have lunch with me. A group of men came up to me when Manjunath had gone to get some food and asked for my name. But, I didn't tell them. Then they insisted saying that they were looking for someone. I then told them my name. Meanwhile, Manjunath also reached the spot. They suddenly slapped me and assaulted Manjunath. Since then I can't hear properly on my left ear,"she said. 

At Kaul Bazaar police station, where Shahnaz and Manjunath went to file a complaint on the same day, the police officials asked them to compromise. 

Superintendent of police Ballari, Chethan R told The News Minute that the accused has been identified as Vikar Ahmed and was still at large.  

On October 6, she allegedly received four threat calls, all from the same number.

"The voice behind the phone told me not to hang out with Manjunath and threatened to kill me if I did. They also sent some pictures of some dead people saying they will kill me like that if I didn't take the complaint back," she said. 

Shahnaz filed another complaint on the same day at Kaul Bazaar police station, however, no action was taken in this case too. 

"We are yet to see if the voice recordings are authentic. We will trace the number and find the accused. This will take time. Meanwhile Shahnaz might be given some sort of police protection,"Chethan said. 

Shahnaz said that she has been asked by the hospital officials not to come to work until there is no threat to her life.


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