Prohibitory orders in Uttarakhand town ahead of 'mahapanchayat' by Hindu outfits

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Uttarkashi: Prohibitory orders were imposed in Uttarakhand's Purola town on Wednesday ahead of a 'mahapanchayat' called by Hindu outfits against what they termed as incidents of "love jihad".


Communal tension has been brewing in Purola and some other towns of Uttarkashi district after two men, one of them Muslim, allegedly tried to abduct a Hindu girl on May 26.

Though the girl was rescued and the accused sent to judicial custody, local trade bodies and right wing Hindu outfits have run a sustained campaign against "love jihad" in Purola and the neighbouring towns, including Barkot, Chinyalisaur and Bhatwari.

Sub Divisional Magistrate Devanand Sharma said prohibitory orders under Section 144 will remain in force till June 19. Section 144 has been imposed in Purola as there could be an attempt by people to disrupt peace, he said.


Right wing Hindu outfits, including the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal and Devbhoomi Raksha Abhiyan, have given a call for the mahapanchayat on Thursday against "love jihad".

"Love jihad" is a term often used by BJP leaders and right wing activists to allege a ploy by Muslim men to lure Hindu women into religious conversion through marriage.

Apart from the abduction bid reported from Purola on May 26, another failed abduction attempt of two minor sisters of Nepali origin by a man called Nawab was reported on June 8 from Arakot area of Uttarkashi district.


The accused in both cases were booked under section 363 (abduction) of the IPC and the POCSO Act.

Over 40 shops run by Muslims in Purtla have not opened even a fortnight after the abduction attempt.

Posters asking alleged perpetrators of "love jihad" to leave the town or face consequences had also appeared on shops run by Muslims last week.


Uttarkashi District Magistrate Abhishek Rohilla and SP Arpan Yaduvanshi met officials and all sections of people in Purola on Monday and appealed to them to maintain peace.

Muslim Seva Sangathan, an organisation fighting for the rights of Muslims, has also given a call for holding a mahapanchayat in Dehradun on June 18.

Muslim bodies like Uttarakhand Waqf Board and state Haj committee have appealed to the chief minister to take stringent action against "anti-social" elements trying to derail peace in the hills and protect Muslims who have been living in Purola for generations.