Sunday 23 January 2022
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Love jihad in Purnia: Muslim neighbour kidnaps, marries minor Hindu

The victim's brother says that Munia Khatoon, the suspect who lives in their neighbourhood, is a hardened criminal involved in human trafficking

An alleged case of love jihad has stirred up the society of Purnia in Bihar. At Gadhanabeli of the Kasba police station area in Purnia, a minor Hindu girl was entrapped by a man who went on to abduct and marry the gullible victim.

The girl’s father filed an FIR, pressing the charge of kidnapping against four Muslims at the police station. The victim’s mother and family are distraught, reporters of the area say.

The family of the love jihad victim comprises carpenters with their business in Garhbaneli. The mother says that on 19 December, Mohammad Shahbaz, who lived in the neighbourhood, kidnapped her daughter and ran away with her. Since then, the family has been clueless about the whereabouts of the girl.

The family accused of the crime is absconding since the time the incident was reported to the police. Their mobile phones are switched off, said the police.

The family of the victim has shared information of the possible hideouts of the suspects with the Kasba police station but to no avail.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Shahbaz has posted a photo of their wedding on Facebook.

The victim’s brother said that Munia Khatoon, who lives in their neighbourhood, was behind her sister’s escape. Khatoon has already kidnapped and sold many girls, he alleged.

The victim’s family fears the worst possible thing may befall their daughter. They are demanding and quick recovery of their daughter who is, according to the school certificate, 17 years and seven months old.

The cop in charge of the station in Kasba, Amit Kumar said that on the charges of kidnapping a minor girl, four people have been for kidnapping. The prime suspect is Mohammad Shahbaz, the officer said.

An FIR has been registered against Shahbaz, his father Mohammad Shamim, mother and neighbour Munia Khatoon in case number 319-21 under Sections 363, 366A and 34 of the IPC. Kumar said that the police were conducting search operations to trace and recover the victim. He said that the suspects would be arrested soon.

The love jihad aspect of the crime has created fresh social tension in Purnia, with Hindus and Muslims of the region getting further distanced from one another, local media reports suggest.

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