MUMBAI: The Criminal Investigation Department (CID), which is meant to probe high-profile cases, will now investigate love affairs that have
resulted in marriages between Hindu girls and Muslim boys.
The state CID has been told to check whether Muslim boys are enticing Hindu girls as part of a larger ‘conspiracy’. Minister of state for home (rural) Nitin Raut announced this step in the legislative assembly on the last day of its session.
BJP MLAs Eknath Khadse and Devendra Fadnavis had alleged in the assembly that young Muslim boys in rural areas were wooing Hindu college girls and then marrying them. This, they claimed, was part of a ‘conspiracy’ to increase the strength of the community. Khadse had further alleged that some Hindu girls had also been sent to the Gulf.
In his reply, Raut had admitted that such incidents were taking place in the state. “I will initiate an inquiry into this,’’ the minister had promised. However, the opposition had demanded a CID probe, terming the issue as serious. Raut had then given in to their demands.
CID chief S P S Yadav said, “We are still to receive the order. The first thing we will have to do is to check whether such an inquiry is in consonance with the CID manual. If not, we will inform the government about the norms. If the government persists, we will decide on how to carry out these investigations.’’
Raut’s announcement has not gone down well with his cabinet colleagues and leaders of the Muslim community. Senior NCP leader and labour minister Nawab Malik said the BJP had a political interest in raising such issues. “The BJP’s politics has always been based on communalism and this demand too is part of the same theory,’’ he added.
Congress leader and minister of state for home (urban) Arif Naseem Khan saidthere was no provision in law where a member of a particular community could be stopped from marrying a girl/boy of another community. “In case a girl or boy is pressured into getting married to a member of another community, the offender should certainly be punished,’’ he added.
Refuting the allegations made by Malik and Khan against the BJP, Fadnavis said, “Had we wanted to politicise the issue, we would have carried out a morcha and staged a protest. Instead, we demanded a CID inquiry. This shows that our intention is not to gain political mileage from the issue.’’
When contacted on Tuesday, Raut said, “The inquiry will not be restricted to limited or specific cases and will be statewide.’’
Meanwhile, home department officials too have been left wondering as to how investigations can be conducted into cases where a Hindu girl has married a boy from the Muslim community or vice versa. “Finding such cases and calling the persons concerned for an inquiry would be a lengthy process,’’ an official said, adding that it may even lead to communal disharmony.