news Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | October 3, 2014 | 10.23 am IST

A Madhya Pradesh IPS officer declared couple’s marriage invalid under the Freedom of Religion act, even as 300-400 right-wing activists surrounded his office on Wednesday.

According to an Indian Express report, Joseph Pawar, who is in his 20s, and Ayushi Wani, 19, of Alirajpur district eloped and got married in an Arya Samaj temple in Bhopal on September 28. They then went to Pavgadh in Gujarat. Right-wing activists including the Hindu Jagran Manch had given the police time until September 30 to bring the girl back.

Wani’s parents filed a complaint with the police, after which they managed to trace the couple to Gujarat and brought them back on October 1. Wani told the police that she wanted to be with her husband Joseph and refused to go back to her parents. Police did not book a case against Pawar as both he and Wani are legally adults. 

However, as the Superintendent of Police Akhilesh Jha met both their families separately in his office, right-wing activists surrounded his office. He told Express that he had to declare the marriage invalid as there was the threat of the mob going on a rampage and destroying property. “There are both plus and minus points when an administrator takes a decision in such matters,” he said.

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