You have heard of Love Jihad. But you must have heard about it in a generic way – as in talk of Love Jihad in Karnataka, Kerala, UP and so on. And if you follow mainstream media, you would be all but convinced that Love Jihad is just a hoax, an imaginary construct of the ‘loony Hindutva fringe’ whose sole job is to whip up hatred and create social divide. But what would you call a crime where a 25-year-old Muslim man takes on a Hindu identity, traps the 17-year-old daughter of his Hindu landlord, elopes with her, and when apprehended turns out to be a hardened criminal?
Wasim Akram, son of Rahish Khan and resident of Sikandra Rao in Western UP, was staying with his sister, Huma, at Aligarh near Sasni Gate on Pala road in a rented room of a Hindu landlord’s house. He hid his identity. He called himself Basant and said his sister was Rekha. He even tied Hindu kalawa (sacred red thread) on his wrists to conceal his Muslim identity and to fabricate a Hindu identity.
He entrapped the landlord’s 17-year-old daughter in entanglement of a love affair. He eloped with her on March 19th after having vacated the rented home 5 days ago. Initially, the girl’s family members didn’t even suspect him and lodged a police complaint against unknown persons for kidnapping their daughter.
Later, Wasim threatened the girl’s family members over phone. He threatened that he would kill them and warned them against going to police; said that their daughter was with a friend of his. When the girl’s father approached police, he was met with apathy.
Leaving his sister Huma at their home, Wasim took the minor girl to various cities – Mainpuri, Farrukhabad, Jaipur, Ajmer – the girl soon realized that the boy she was travelling with was a Muslim. On Sunday, at around 8 am, Wasim and the girl reached Achnera from Jaipur by train.
He was having a cold drink when some Bajrang Dal activists got suspicious. They followed him and caught him. After some questioning, the truth was revealed and Bajrang Dal activists handed him over to Achnera police.
By evening, the girl’s mother arrived at Achnera along with Sasni Gate police. Reportedly, Wasim threatened the girl’s mother right in front of the police. He also admitted to Love Jihad. An incriminating diary was found on his person, which reveals his criminal record. It appears he is wanted for the murder of a retired military personnel in Rajepur police station, Farrukhabad. He has other cases of gangster involvement mentioned in the diary along with court hearing dates. However, Achnera police inspector Paramhans Tiwari denied any knowledge on this matter, when asked by Dainik Jagran newspaper.
Wasim also revealed that he had come to Achnera to visit his mausi (maternal aunt). His mausa (aunt’s husband) works for DRM in Jaipur, and he had stayed there as well along with the girl. His plan was to collect some money and then marry the underage girl in Ajmer.
The evidence at hand hints that Wasim’s family – sister Huma, maternal aunt and uncle – were well aware of his criminal deeds and in fact abetted the heinous entrapment and exploitation of an underage girl. This is a disturbing pattern of entire families being involved in crimes of Love & Rape Jihad.
It is time for Muslim society to introspect seriously on why such acts acquire social sanction in sections of their society – converting a kafir (non-Muslim) is widely encouraged and celebrated, and the supremacist mindset engendered by community leaders is fueling such criminal actions like Love Jihad.
Hindus, especially urban Hindus living in sanitized, gated societies, need to wake up and smell the coffee – clearly, Love Jihad is happening right under our nose. One just has to keep one’s eyes and ears open and be alert to nip it in the bud. Those who are still not convinced should realize that Love Jihad is directed against all non-Muslim girls, not just Hindus – so it includes Christians in Kerala, and the forced conversions in Pakistan or sexual grooming gangs of UK are just other variants of this phenomenon.
Young girls need to be made aware so that they don’t fall prey to entrapments of Love Jihad. This is not their battle alone – every Hindu needs to play his/her part. We have to put pressure on our politicians, law & order machinery, media to ensure that Love Jihadis get the harshest possible punishment to create an effective deterrent. And if a girl does fall prey to these gangs, then we need to provide counselling support and help re-integrate them into Hindu society – the work done by likes of Advocate Chetna Sharma, Hindu Samhati needs to be replicated on a larger scale.
One must also be thankful to much-maligned groups such as Bajrang Dal, who caught this criminal and saved a young girl’s life.