KOLKATA: An inter-faith couple from Diamond Harbour, who figure on a list of 102 such couples on Facebook as examples of ‘love jihad’, have had to postpone their wedding following threats on social media.
The marriage was scheduled this month and the two families had accepted the relationship after some initial resistance, the woman — a teacher at a private English-medium school — told TOI. But the situation changed once their names figured on the list uploaded by right-wing Hindu groups on Facebook, first in November and then again in January. The post was later withdrawn but it had caused the intended damage by then.
“Our personal Facebook and Twitter accounts were flooded with threats from unknown individuals. Our families, concerned at the developments, decided to withhold the wedding till things cooled down,” she said.
Another inter-faith couple, who were targeted similarly, filed a complaint with the Kolkata Police cyber cell on February 7. The couple from Diamond Harbour, too, went to cops but refrained from filing a complaint after they were told that it could complicate matters further.
“Cops have been very cooperative. They have advised us to wait and watch and assured us all help if there is a threat,” the man said. He runs a medical business.
The duo from Diamond Harbour, the riverside town about 50km southwest of Kolkata, are in their early twenties and met in college three years ago. Both families were aware of the relationship and did not accept it initially but the couple decided to grind it out and try convince their families and not elope. It took three years for the two families to see reason and agree to the wedding.
The woman said: “I am grateful that both my parents and in-laws could rise above religion and accept the relationship. But it is really sad that strangers have now hijacked our future.”
Most of the hate messages said the same thing: “Hindu girls are converting to Islam by Love Jihad…. Wake up Hindus, otherwise you will lose your homeland India.” The messages appeared to be random but analysts believe they may be carefully orchestrated by a group.