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Probe ‘love jihad’ angle, VHP on Shraddha murder, wants laws to address ‘illegal’ conversions

The Maharashtra girl was allegedly murdered in Delhi by her live-in boyfriend Aftab Poonawalla after the duo fought over marriage and trust issues.

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New Delhi: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) wants the horrific murder of Shraddha Walkar, allegedly by her boyfriend Aftab Poonawalla, to be investigated as a case of “love jihad”, and will also pressure the central government to bring a law against “illegal” religious conversions to address such cases.

VHP working president Alok Kumar told ThePrint: “Love jihad has become an organised crime. The misadventure of jihad leads you to do all this. Love jihad and jihad have wider ramifications. In this particular case, the man strangled the girl as she was pressing for marriage.”

Aftab Poonawalla, 28, allegedly killed his live-in girlfriend Shraddha Walkar in May and chopped her in 35 pieces after the couple fought over marriage, trust and money issues.

Aftab was arrested by the Delhi Police on Saturday and has apparently confessed to the murder, saying he scattered the body parts in the Mehrauli jungle among other places. Sources said 13 pieces — suspected to be of the dead girl’s — have been found in the jungle so far.

Kumar called this murder a “rarest of rare case”, and demanded it be heard by an exclusive special court so that the trial and the case is fast-tracked.

BJP MLA Ram Kadam has also said he would write a letter to the Delhi Police to seek a probe into the possible “love jihad” angle behind the murder.

Kumar added: “They met on a dating site, they eloped from their home and the boy brought the girl into a live-in relationship in Delhi, naturally with the promise to marry. We will do all that is required and will also ask the police to act in a swift manner and probe all angles, including that of love jihad. In several states, due to our efforts, laws have been enacted to tackle forcible conversion done with regard to allurement and inducement. Two years ago in Faridabad, we had pressed for the enactment of central laws to look into forcible conversions and ‘love jihad’. We asked them for support.”

The VHP has been raucuous about “love jihad” for quite some time, and Kumar hoped capital punishment would be awarded in this case.

“If the matter is not dealt with speedily, and the trial goes on for say 10 years, the person fades from public memory and so does the issue. We hope the police will file the ‘challan’ soon and the matter will be pursued in a fast-track court,” he added.

Kumar further said the VHP’s concern and that of the Supreme Court were the same as forcible conversion is a danger to the unity and security of India. On Monday, the Supreme Court had said forced conversions may ultimately affect national security and the freedom of religion.

Also read: Ground intestines to ‘keema’, refrigerated head near cold drinks — how chef ‘hid’ body of lover


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