Following sustained pressure from a right-wing group, a 20-year-old Hindu woman was forced to break off her relationship with a Muslim man in Mangaluru recently.
Members of Durga Vahini, the women’s wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad “counselled” Priya* the woman, alleging that her boyfriend Naveed* was a drug peddler.
The inter-faith relationship came to light after photographs of Priya and Naveed were circulated in social media over the past few days, reported Daijiworld. Members of Durga Vahini came across the photographs and sought to meet the woman in order to convince her against pursuing a relationship with him.
After managing to track Priya and her parents, the group reportedly arranged counselling sessions for her and allegedly told her that Naveed had run-ins with the police. They also alleged that he had recently been caught by the crime branch of city police for trafficking ganja. Durga Vahini members also claimed that Priya had become addicted to the drug.
A member of Durga Vahini claimed, "Since the guy was a drug peddler, she had developed a habit of consuming drugs, which lead her to being trapped in a ‘love jihad’ net." A video released appears to show that the woman had yielded to the pressure from the members of the organisation.
Some reports say that the man had been arrested previously for a drug peddling case, though police were not ready to confirm or deny this.
“Durga Vahini members showed me what life is. I was wrong in my ways and I know now that I need the Hindu dharma,” said Priya in a video published by News9 on Thursday.
An unverified audio doing the rounds in Mangaluru, a woman can be heard asking what is wrong if she’s in a relationship with a Muslim man, as her previous relationships with Hindu men had failed.
Mangaluru, a communally sensitive area has a history of inter-religious violence. Among a number of incidents, a store owner was attacked in 2014 for escorting women employees home while activists belonging to Sri Ram Sene attacked women at a bar in the city in 2009.
The intervention by Durga Vahini also comes at a time the Supreme Court is hearing the high-profile Hadiya case. Hadiya also known as Akhila, who hails from Kottayam in Kerala had converted to Islam, and then married Shafin Jahan, a Muslim man.
However, her personal life was brought under public scrutiny after the Kerala High Court annulled her marriage in May, calling it a “sham”. Later, the Supreme Court ordered the National Investigative Agency to probe the marriage following allegations that she had been forcibly converted, as part of an organised effort.
The Supreme Court on Monday directed Hadiya to go back to her college in Salem and pursue her studies.