A Muslim man and a Hindu woman – named on a list of inter-faith couples across the country as examples of “love jihad” – have filed a complaint with the cyber cell of the Kolkata Police, alleging that they had received death threats, The Indian Express reported on Monday.
“Love jihad” is a term frequently used by Hindutva organisations to allege a conspiracy by Muslim men to marry women from other religions solely to convert them to Islam.
“We have been targeted by a group of people,” the couple said in their complaint. “We were further subjected to death threats.”
The couple has requested the police to take immediate action. An unidentified police officer confirmed to The Indian Express that the two had filed a complaint and said the matter was being investigated.
The Muslim man said his girlfriend found them named on the list on Facebook on January 4. “Thereafter, unknown people started dropping messages, warning my girlfriend about ‘love jihad’ and to not meet the person she loves,” he said. “She blocked some of them, but the rest continued.”
“This is a list of Facebook profiles of Hindu women who are victims of love jihad,” a post on Hindu Varta, a Facebook group, said in January. “We exhort all Hindu tigers, find the men listed and hunt them.” The post has been deleted.
Facebook user Biplab Chattopadhyay, who claims to be a member of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, had posted on Facebook group Milan Mela, urging Hindus to “wake up” and fight against “love jihad”. “I did it to draw attention to the fact that Hindu women are being lured and later their religion is being changed,” he told The Indian Express. He said he had not shared any profile links.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad Spokesperson Sourish Mukherkjee said “love jihad” was a “big conspiracy to destroy the Hindu society”. But he claimed that the organisation had nothing to do with the list of inter-faith couples shared on Facebook. “We will definitely try and find out if our members are circulating such lists,” he said.