Dadri, Uttar Pradesh:
Manjeet Bhati and Salma have not been able to get their marriage registered becuase the officials say this could ignite communal tensions.
Fearing the revival of last year’s communal tensions, authorities have allegedly refused of make the marriage of a Hindu man and Muslim girl official in Dadri village of Uttar Pradesh. The town had recently gained popularity when Mohammad Ikhlaq, a 52 year old man was killed by an angry mob after being blamed for eating beef.
According to a story published in The Mall, the couple belongs to Chitehra village and have not been able to get their marriage registered even after six months. Their plea has been rejected by officials who allegedly said that doing this may trigger communal riots all over again.
Even today, a couple having an intercaste marriage is looked upon with shame in many parts of India. Adults who have consented to this without breaking any law have been threatened and brutally beaten by religious vigilantes. Manjeet Bhati, 24, and Salma 20, left Dadri village in Gautam Budh Nagar district to Allahabad on October 19 on a bike. Three days later, Salma converted to Hinduism and the couple got married at the Arya Samaj temple.
The couple has been known to visit government offices numerous times in the past five months and met senior officers, but failed to get any help. The couple said that they were asked to give Rs 20,000 by the marriage registrar who refused to register their marriage.
NP Singh, district magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar promised the couple to get their marriage registered and also asked a senior officer to look into the matter. “If both of them are adults then there should not be any problem in registering their marriage. I cannot deny that they were told by a government officer that registering their marriage can ignite communal violence”.
Manoj Bhati said that he has met all senior district officers including SDM, ADM and city magistrate and did not get support. Bhati then wrote to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, seeking his help.
“ We went to the marriage registrar in Januray but he said that he will not register our marriage as I was a Hindu and my wife a Muslim and this could ignite violence in the area. I assured him that no local has a problem with our marriage and our village is quiet peaceful, but still she refused and also demanded Rs 20,000” he said.
The incident took place closely to the one in Karnataka, wherein a Hindu woman and Muslim man solemnized their marriage despite major protests from Hindu groups and caste leaders. The couple also claimed that they also feared attacks from the bride’s relatives earlier and sought protection from the senior superintendent of Police in that area.
“My parents died while I was quite young. I was living with some relatives who wanted me to marry an elderly man”, said Sapna. “But Manjeet and I were friends for long and we decided to get married.