The Bajrang Dal is “working towards curbing love jihad incidents” that may take place at Garba venues during Navratri in Gujarat and stopping Muslims from entering such events.
Volunteers of the Bajrang Dal, an organisation associated with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, are standing outside Garba (traditional dance) venues and distributing pamphlets making participants “aware of the perils of love jihad”, Gujarat VHP spokesperson Hitendrasinh Rajput said.
The volunteers are also stopping Muslims from entering Garba venues as they could be coming with the aim of luring young Hindu women, he said.
“Love jihad” is a term used by Right-wing groups and activists to describe alleged attempts by Muslim men to convert and radicalise women from other religions through marriage. In 2020, the Union home ministry had told Parliament that “no such case of ‘love jihad’ has been reported by any of the central agencies”, adds our Delhi bureau.
“Our activists stand outside Garba venues to raise awareness among revellers about love jihad. They welcome participants with vermilion marks on their forehead and bar people from the Muslim community from entering these dance venues,” Rajput said.
Rajput claimed Bajrang Dal members had stopped four Muslims at a venue in Ahmedabad on Tuesday night and forced them to leave. Rajput had uploaded a purported video of the incident on Twitter.
In a message to the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India, the Bajrang Dal has said the managements of properties affiliated to it must not allow in Muslim men accompanying Hindu women, threatening them with consequences if they did.
“Hotels are generally found to be the source of exploitation of women in love jihad cases. The pious festival of Navratri remains the soft target of these ‘vidharmis’,” Rajput said in a Twitter post.
“The association’s members should not provide hotel rooms to such people (Muslim-Hindu couples), failing which they will have to face consequences,” he warned.