Activist drags NCW chief Rekha Sharma to Bombay HC over ‘love jihad’ tweets

In what can spell troubles for Rekha Sharma, the chairperson of National Commission of Women (NCW), an activist has petitioned the Bombay High Court seeking to sack her over her "communal comments." The plea claims that Sharma isn't having the "mindset" which could bring down the crime against women. The plea filed by activist Saket Ghokale has taken exception to the tweets posted by Sharma on her official Twitter handle.

In her recent tweets, the NCW chief had stated to have met Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari during which she had claimed to have discussed the "rising cases of love jihad" in the state.

Sharma in her tweet had said, "Our Chairperson @sharmarekha met with Shri Bhagat Singh Koshyari, His Excellency, Governor of Maharashtra & discussed issues related to #womensafety in the state including defunct One Stop Centres, molestation & rape of women patients at #COVID centres & rise in love jihad cases."

Taking exception to the last part of her tweet, Gokhale has moved the HC and sought directions to the union ministry for women and child development to sack her from the post.

Gokhale said, Sharma has not only breached the provisions of the NCW act of 1990 but has also acted in contravention to Articles 14 (right to equality), 21 (right to privacy) and 25 (right to religion). In his plea, Gokhale has said that Sharma has attacked the rights of "inter-faith" couples and tried to demonise such marriages by propagating "baseless" concepts like “love jihad”.

"By invoking the baseless communal concept of love jihad, the NCW chairperson has interfered with the freedom of inter-faith couples to practise their faith freely while marrying each other without the fear of persecution and targeting based on religious grounds," the petition reads. Gokhale claimed that posting such statements cannot be seen casually as it clearly indicates the "official policy goal of demonising inter-faith marriages."

Gokhale has further pointed out various other "misogynistic and partisan" tweets posted by Sharma on her official handle, against which, he claims, the Centre hasn't taken any kind of action.

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