Karnataka Hindutva vigilante doxxes interfaith couples

The law requires that marriages of interfaith couples be announced publicly, leaving them vulnerable to targeting.
Representative image of a couple
Representative image of a couple
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A right-wing activist has shared pictures of marriage notices of interfaith couples — whose names suggest that the women might be Hindu — on X, making claims of “love jihad”. The notices reveal the names and addresses of the couples-to-be, making them vulnerable to targeting. 

Civil society group Bahutva Karnataka on Sunday, March 24 drew the attention of the Karnataka Police to a post by Hindu Janajagruti Samiti state spokesperson Mohan Gowda, with pictures of marriage notices of a couple from Mysuru, along with claims of “love jihad”. 

All the couples have applied to register under the Special Marriage Act, 1954, which allows couples to marry without changing their religion. However, under Section 6 of the Act, it is mandatory for the government to put up a notice for a period of 30 days and under Section 7 people can file objections to the intended marriage. These provisions make couples vulnerable.

Screenshots of the tweets
Screenshots of the tweets

In all, Gowda has doxxed four couples in the state in two posts on X. The first post was on Saturday, March 23, in which Gowda posted images of the marriage notices of three couples. The six men and women are adults and all of them live in Dharwad district, except for one woman who is from Koppal district.

Gowda put up another post on Sunday, March 24, with pictures of a Mysuru-based couple.

Women’s rights groups have for long pointed out that these legal provisions make the couple vulnerable to attack from several quarters, including their own families, and more recently, from right-wing groups opposed to interfaith marriages.

Sections 6 and 7 of the Special Marriage Act have been challenged in the courts both on grounds of privacy and on the hurdles they pose to interfaith couples who wish to marry in face of opposition from their families.

The Hindu Janajagruti Samiti has been known to target Muslims in the past. Before Diwali in 2022, the group had launched a ‘halal mukt Diwali’ campaign against halal meat. 

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