Even a year after Anjali, a Hindu woman and Ibrahim, a Muslim man secretly married, they are fighting against all odds to live together, despite the Supreme Court and Chattisgarh High Court stating both individuals are adults and can make their own decisions. The SC had further said, ‘interfaith marriages are good for the country’.
The Supreme Court will be hearing the matter on 22 October.
The couple married in an Arya Samaj wedding in February 2018 after Ibrahim, 33, converted to Hinduism. 24-year-old Anjali’s family, however, claims it’s a case of ‘love jihad’.
"“I met Ibrahim in 2014 in college. After that we started talking and soon after we started seeing each other. On 25 February 2018, we got married in the Arya Samaj way in Raipur. After getting married, I went back home to complete my course thinking that I will slowly convince my parents about the marriage. However, my parents found out about my marriage from someone and then I was kept like a prisoner in my own house. They started torturing me, giving me medicines. They took my phone away from me, I couldn’t meet anyone, I couldn’t do anything.”" - Anjali
Anjali’s father, a businessman based out of Chattisgarh, cries foul and calls Ibrahim a ‘fake Hindu’.
"“Actually this is a fake marriage. He became a fake Hindu, who is even 15 years elder to her. He has gotten married three-four times. He is actually a divorcee.”" - Ashok Jain, Father
The couple has been married for 18 months but are living like ‘hostages’ in different parts of the country – Anjali’s father forcefully sent her to an asylum claiming she is ‘mentally disturbed’.
"“She is mentally disturbed and has to be saved from that man. She is a little silly and innocent. She isn’t mad. There are some girls who are just dumb, she is one of them. She easily gets swayed by anyone and everyone. Her proper medication and brain therapy were ongoing.”" - Ashok Jain, Father
Meanwhile, Ibrahim was put in jail on charges of ‘forgery’.
"“I was arrested and have already spent two months in jail. Anjali’s father filed an FIR against me stating that I have forged my documents and married his daughter. The police did not investigate properly because the main document actually a rough paper on the basis of which the FIR was filed. After that, Anjali’s father started physically abusing her a lot. He would tell her to go to the police station to give her testimony against me. Every time she would refuse, he would be beat her up further.”" - Ibrahim
‘Courts In Our Favour’
After Anjali was held prisoner in her own home, Ibrahim filed a writ petition in the Chattisgarh High Court, demanding his right to stay as a married couple with Anjali. The court recognised Anjali as being old enough to make her own decisions and asked her to take some time off and think about it with a clear head.
"“I told the court that I love Ibrahim and that I want to live with him. However, at that time, he was in jail due to the forgery case filed by my father. So, the court asked me where I wanted to stay to cool off for some time. They asked me if I wanted to stay with my parents or at a women’s centre. I refused to go to my parents’ house and chose to stay at the women’s centre.”" - Anjali
However, Anjali was allegedly abducted by her parents from the centre and sent to an asylum. Ibrahim reached the Supreme Court which too held that Anjali has the right to choose her partner.
Her father is loath to relent.
The matter is up at the Supreme Court again. This time, Anjali’s father has filed a case against Ibrahim and the Chattisgarh police for taking away his daughter from his house.
"“The government, the officers and the police, everyone has become one with that Muslim. That man should be arrested. I had got him arrested, I got his bail canceled through the HC and the SC and yet they are doing this.”" - Ashok Jain, Father
As the case drags on, the couple is still waiting to live together as husband and wife.
"“I just want the case to get over as soon as possible now. For the last 18 months, we have just witnessed cases and more cases. I just want to live with my husband and that is it.” " - Anjali
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