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Madhya Pradesh : Bajrang Dal alleges ‘love jihad’ in Garba, 4 Muslim youths arrested

An attempt has been made to give a communal color to Navratri celebrations in Madhya Pradesh. In the midst of this divisive attempt, the police have arrested four Muslim youths on the complaint of ‘Love Jihad’ of Bajrang Dal in Indore. All four were picked up by Bajrang Dal workers and handed over to the police. However, one of them told NDTV that he was not doing garba but the organizers had asked him to be present there and take care of the arrangements.

Actually, Garba program was organized at Oxford College, Indore. In this program, the college administration had deputed two Muslim students of the college for the duty of handling the system, but the Bajrang Dal workers handed them over to the police accusing them of love jihad.

Adnan Shah, 21, who is out on bail, a second year B.Com student at Oxford College in Indore, said he was on duty asking people to park their vehicles at the cycle stand but Bajrang Dal members As soon as he entered there, the commotion started.

Adnan Shah said, “A total of 25 volunteers were made out of the students and I was one of them. My duty was at the cycle stand. Suddenly between 100 and 150 people came inside the college and started creating ruckus in the program. Some of them asked my name and when I told them my name they asked me to step aside. When I showed them my ID card they said it doesn’t make any sense, why are you here?”

Sajid Shah, relative of Adnan Shah, expressed anger over the incident, saying, “Our children were invited by the college to take care of the arrangements in the Garba ceremony, but they were put in lock-up accusing them of love jihad. Is there a constitution of this country? Doesn’t allow Muslim children to attend functions in their college?”

Meanwhile, the college has been fined for violating the Kovid protocol. Police said that all the four youths from the minority community were taken into preventive custody. This incident is of Sunday i.e. 10 October. There has been no response from the college management on this matter so far.

Indore’s Additional SP Prashant Choubey said, “When we reached the venue, around 5000 people had gathered there. To maintain peace at the venue, we have arrested 4 youths and lodged an FIR against the college.” However, the police did not take any action against the members of Bajrang Dal, who had disrupted the Garba program in the college.

This is not the only incident in Madhya Pradesh where an attempt has been made to give a communal color to the festivals this Navratri. Earlier, posters related to the ban on the entry of non-Hindus in Navratri celebrations were put up all over Ratlam. The police did not take any action in that case also.

Ratlam Superintendent of Police, Gaurav Tiwari said, “I came to know about the posters through the media. When we investigated, it was found that these were private functions and none of the people living in the colonies there objected to it. Therefore, it is not a cognizable offence.” When asked whether putting up such posters was not an attempt to spread communal tension, he said, “No, it cannot be defined as spreading communal disharmony.”

Earlier this week, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad in Ratlam banned non-Hindus from entering Garba pandals and put up posters in public places in the city. A few years ago, senior BJP leader Usha Thakur had warned the Garba organizers not to allow non-Hindus entry into the event and asked them to screen the participants on the basis of their voter cards. Thakur is now the Minister of Culture and Tourism in the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government of the state.