The Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up to probe cases of “love jihad” in Kanpur, has not found any evidence of foreign funding or organised conspiracy as claimed by Uttar Pradesh government and chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
The SIT’s report concludes that in eight of the 14 identified cases, the women openly declared that their relationships with the accused were consensual and based on love. Six of these involve marriages with Muslim men, while two were confined to what the police report calls “love relations”.
The team has submitted its report to the Inspector General (IG) on Monday.
IG Mohit Agarwal said, “No such thing has been revealed in the investigation so far indicating that they have any gang or they have done all this under a conspiracy by forming an organisation.”
In six cases, the FIRs registered are still being investigated, though in one of those cases the accused Muslim man has been released on bail. The police treated the husbands as accused but were unable to produce evidence that the women were converted forcibly.
One of the women was quoted as saying there was a love affair between her and the accused, whom she knew for a long time. Another woman told the police that she had consensually gone with the accused, made physical contacts and decided to marry him of her own free will. A third woman said that there was no pressure on her to marry the accused and she had gone to him on her own. Another woman said that she had had a nikah with the accused of her free will.
IG Mohit Agarwal said: “A total of 14 cases had come up in Kanpur in which the parents had alleged that their daughters were implicated by the boys by deception. The SIT investigated all the cases. Of these 11 cases were found in which some crime was committed and 11 people have been sent to jail.”
However, in three cases, the adult women have given a statement in defence of the men, which has contributed to the final report. There has been no further probe in these three cases.
The Uttar Pradesh home department had announced last week that a strict law against “love jihad” will soon be brought in the state.
The home department has sent a proposal on the same to the law department.
The chief ministers of Karnataka, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have promised to bring laws to combat this supposed conspiracy, Adityanath has been one of the most vocal BJP voices against ‘love jihad’.