Jodhpur : Jodhpur marriage, Jodhpur religious conversion, love jihad case, rajasthan high court, forcible conversion, India news, indian express The court had also sent Payal/Aarifa to Nari Niketan for a week, and prohibited “either party” to meet her.
At the centre of a row over “forced religious conversion” and marriage in Jodhpur, the woman’s family says it is in shock. Payal Singhvi, 22, who now calls herself Aarifa, was a “bhajan-kirtan singing girl” with civil services ambitions, they say; they had never imagined that she could walk out on them one day and “refuse to recognise her family”.
The man’s family, on the other hand, has locked itself up at home. Under the glare of Jodhpur’s right-wing organisations, the family of Faiz Modi refuses to speak.
“When she was presented in the high court Wednesday, she refused to recognise us. How can a girl with doting parents, and who used to sit in temple and sing kirtan to Sai Baba daily with her father, do that? She has been brainwashed,” Payal’s brother Chirag, 26, told The Indian Express.
A friend of his, Somendra Sharma, 31, showed a video of Payal in a temple —on the ground floor of the family’s home in Jodhpur — accompanying her father in devotional songs, as dozens move their heads in devotion. They recount how easily Payal used to recite Sunderkand Path daily.
But on Wednesday, it was as Aarifa that she arrived in court, covered in an abaya and a hijab, and she reportedly refused to acknowledge her parents.
“She could never bear to see her parents crying. How is it that she didn’t flinch when they were weeping, literally at her feet in the court?” her brother said.
In his complaint to police, he has alleged that his sister had told their mother that Faiz Modi had clicked her photographs and had been blackmailing her.
“It is a case of love jihad, and the modus operandi has similarities with the Blue Whale game and Islamic State recruitment,” said Chirag’s friend Somendra.
“In the online game, one carries out acts against their will as they are threatened that something bad will happen to their family.
And how does a person go on to join IS and is ready to blow himself up? Because they are brainwashed. That is the case here, too.”
They are convinced that Payal could not have fallen for Faiz Modi, with whom she had allegedly eloped on October 25. That was six months after Aarifa had converted and married him, as per the documents submitted in court.
“There is not a single attribute about the boy that anyone can find attractive; he does not even have a job,” Chirag said. Their father is a pujari, he said, and they also run a mobile-phone shop.
Payal had got a BCom degree this year and was preparing for the Rajasthan Administrative Services when she went “missing” on October 25.
Chirag recalls that the only interaction with Faiz Modi was about five or six years ago, when Payal and Faiz studied in the same school. “He was a year junior to her, and she complained that she was being harassed and stalked by him, so we spoke to his father Aijaz Modi, who apologised to us,” Chirag said.
He said that their parents, especially their mother, are “too disturbed” to speak to anyone. “She barely eats and just keeps repeating all day that she wants her daughter back in home, anyhow, anyhow,” Chirag said.
It was on his petition that Rajasthan High Court had pulled up Jodhpur’s Pratap Nagar police station, asking them to lodge an FIR and investigate the case. An FIR was lodged against Faiz Modi Monday, under IPC sections for inducing a woman to compel her into marriage, wrongful confinement, stalking and extortion.
The court had also sent Payal/Aarifa to Nari Niketan for a week, and prohibited “either party” to meet her.
Chirag said the police had initially refused to register an FIR after his sister had submitted an affidavit with the police claiming she had converted to Islam. “It is a false affidavit,” he said.
The court had observed that, as per claims, the nikah was solemnised on April 14, yet the girl was living with her family until October 25. “Then how conversion of religion from one community to another community was made in the month of April 2017,” it had asked.
Meanwhile, at Faiz Modi’s home in Jodhpur, a woman identifying herself as Aijaz Modi’s daughter claimed that neither Aijaz nor Faiz was home, and refused to open the door or speak further.
A couple of men claiming to be tenants, too, refused to speak.
On Wednesday, a few Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal members protested at the high court in connection with the case.
Quoting VHP Jodhpur prant sanrakshak Bhawani Lal Mathur, VHP leader Mukesh said, “There is a large-scale racket in Jodhpur with international connections.
The Muslim youth here get funds for luring Hindu women, converting them, exploiting them, and then pushing them in illegal activities.”
He said that the VHP had brought this to the administration’s notice several times through memorandums, but said that the police has failed to act on its statements. The matter has been listed before the high court on November 7, when the government has been asked to file its reply on conversion laws in Rajasthan.