SIT probe into 'love jihad' cases in Kanpur finds no evidence of conspiracy, foreign funding

A special investigation team formed to probe into incidents of 'love jihad' in Kanpur has not found any evidence of a conspiracy or foreign funding, media reports said.

The report also found no evidence that the accused youths had the backing of any organisation.

However, Kanpur Range Inspector General (IG) Mohit Agarwal was quoted as saying by PTI that out of the 14 cases investigated, crime was found in 11 cases. Responding to a question on the nature of these crimes, Agarwal said that in three cases, the men had "given false names to coax the girls and the girls say they found out later these men are from a different religion". There were also cases where the girls were minor, an NDTV report quoted the police as saying.

The SIT's observations about the lack of evidence of any conspiracy or foreign funding are in contradiction to the statements made by multiple leaders of the BJP and Sangh Parivar. Yogi Adityanath, before becoming the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, had claimed that 'love jihad' was an 'international conspiracy' against India. Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Sadhvi Prachi has also been quoted as saying that funds for 'love jihad' come from Arab nations. She had claimed that Rs 10-25 lakh are given for women from Brahmin, Vaishya and 'Shudra' castes.

However, IG Mohit Agarwal said a chargesheet has been filed in 11 cases and the accused have been arrested. He has been quoted in The Indian Express as saying that the charges invoked against the accused include Sections 363 (punishment for kidnapping), 366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage, etc) of the Indian Penal Code and other charges. In eight cases, the girls were said to be minors.

The IG said their aim is to protect girls from any conspiracy.

"If it is real a love, then police and law have no problem. If boys trap girls stating a false name or the girl is minor, then the law will take its own course," he said.

On 21 November, the Uttar Pradesh government announced it had initiated the process to bring an Ordinance to check unlawful conversions in the state. On 31 October, Yogi Adityanath used the Hindu funeral chant 'Ram Naam Satya Hai' at a rally to threaten those who 'play with the honour and dignity of sisters and daughters.'

The eight-member SIT led by SP (South) Deepak Bhukar was formed following complaints lodged by some Hindu organisations.

The SIT, headed by Deputy Superintendent of Police Vikas Pandey, was formed following complaints lodged by some Hindu organisations.

With inputs from PTI

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