In Karnataka's Kalaburgi have arrested two 19-year-old men for killing a Hindu man who was in a relationship with their sister, officials said on Thursday. The accused belonged to the Muslim community, police said.
Interfaith marriages in India are registered under the Special Marriage Act, which mandates a 30-day notice period. But couples live in fear of reprisals.
Interfaith marriage is controversial in some areas, especially disapproval of relationships between Hindus and Muslims (where in some cases non-Muslims are required to convert to complete the marriage) by conservative Muslims.
Conversely, Love jihad is an Islamophobic conspiracy theory developed by proponents of Hindutva. The conspiracy theory purports that Muslim men target Hindu women for conversion to Islam.
Advertisements and films depicting Hindu-Muslim relationships have attracted condemnation and legal action. Hindu-Muslim couples have experienced harassment, including posting personal details on social media.
Here are five cases where it was Hindus who were killed for engaging in interfaith relationships:
Billipuram Nagaraju was brutally beaten and stabbed to death on a busy road in Saroornagar in Hyderabad on May 4 this year. The 25-year-old was killed because he married Syed Ashrin Sultana, a Muslim woman.
The police arrested Sultana’s brother Syed Mobin Ahmed and Mohammed Masood Ahmed for the crime and said that they committed the murder as they did not approve of the inter-faith marriage. Nagaraju belonged to the Mala community, categorised as Scheduled Caste.
Ravi Nimbargi, 34, a resident of Balaganur village in Sindagi, was murdered, allegedly by the family of a Muslim woman he was in a relationship with, in October 2021.
Police investigations into the murder revealed that Nimbargi, a Hindu, had fallen in love with a Muslim woman and wanted to marry her, despite the families not agreeing.
In February 2018, 23-year-old Ankit Saxena was lynched in broad daylight in west Delhi’s Raghubir Nagar by the family members of his Muslim girlfriend.
According to The Times of India, he “was kicked and punched repeatedly by the girl’s father and uncle before the former stabbed him and slit his throat using a chopper and knife while her two other relatives held his arms”.
In October 2020, 18-year-old Rahul Rajput was brutally beaten to death in Delhi’s Adarsh Nagar by Mohammad Afroz, Mohammad Raj and three others, over an alleged love affair with a Muslim girl.
The girl's family were opposed to their inter-religious affair. Taking matters into their own hands, the girl’s brother, along with his friends, confronted Rahul and the girl near Adarsh Nagar in Delhi and brutally assaulted him, leaving him mortally injured.
Also in October 2020, 24-year-old K. Lakshmipathi, a Hindu who had eloped with a Muslim woman, was killed by the woman’s father and brother.
On the pretext of discussing their marriage, the father took the 24-year-old man to a secluded place and strangled him with the help of his son and others.
Both the families had objections to the relationship over their interfaith union. However, last month the young couple had eloped to tie the knot, reported The Times of India. The couple fell in love while working at a factory in 2017.