Police arrested four Muslim men from Bagwalipokhar in Uttarakhand’s Almora after locals and some Hindu religious groups accused them of grooming jihad. The four were nabbed with a minor Hindu girl from a restaurant in the area, police officials said.
As per reports, the Muslim men are accused of luring the Hindu girl with the aim of abducting her. The police subsequently took the accused to the police station where the girl’s father had lodged a complaint. Aged between 19 to 27, the four accused are residents of Haridwar and Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh. According to the police, one among the four arrested befriended the girl on social media a few months ago.
“The man, along with his friends came to Bagwalipokhar area on Friday evening in order to meet the girl…He later called the girl to a local restaurant, where its owner, grew suspicious of them and informed the locals…,” a police officer privy to matter disclosed.
Soon thereafter, locals arrived at the restaurant and accosted the four youth. They accused them of “love jihad” and then handed them over to the police. The police said some of the locals informed the girl’s father, who told them that the four had lured his daughter to kidnap her.
Accused booked after BJP MLA Mahesh Singh Negi intervened
However, some Hindu organisations accused the police of not pressing charges against the accused. A report published in Jagran said the SHO kept refusing to reveal the names of the accused. Late night, only after the intervention of local MLA Mahesh Singh Negi, did the police disclose the names of the arrested youth. They were identified as Kasif, Armaan, Sane Alam and Farman, residents of Haridwar and Moradabad.
After reaching the police station, the Dwarahat MLA Mahesh Singh Negi asked the police to take quick action against the accused.
The four have been booked for “abduction and molestation” and also under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. They were due to be produced before a court on Saturday.