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Moral policing, physical assaults and molestation in the name of imaginary ‘Bhagwa love trap’: Multiple cases where Islamists attack Hindu-Muslim couples

Only a few incidents of such attacks, carried out under the garb of 'Bhagwa Love Trap,' have so far made it to local reports and mainstream media.

With the increasing radicalization among Islamists in India, Hindu men are repeatedly being attacked if they even walk with a female Muslim colleague. At these times, Hindu men always end up at the mercy of law enforcement authorities.

A couple of months ago, Islamists began peddling a baseless theory dubbed ‘Bhagwa Love Trap’ to counter 100s of documented cases of impersonation, identity fraud, and forced conversions to Islam (popularly known as Love Jihad).

While it started out as a social media hashtag, Islamists soon began sharing videos of random hijab-wearing Muslim women and their male Hindu friends/ acquaintances and partners without their consent.

Results from Google trends on the search term ‘Bhagwa Love Trap’

The posts are often accompanied by emotional messages and sought public help in identifying the couples. Soon after, social media was rife with videos of Islamist mobs ambushing random Hindu-Muslim couples.

This would then be followed by heated arguments, physical assault on the Hindu men, and even molestation of the Muslim women. The attacks were carried out under the pretext that a sinister plot was underway to convert Muslim women to Hinduism by luring them into a love trap (the basis of the Bhagwa Love trap).

It is not a new phenomenon for Islamists to come up with conspiracy theories that absolve them of any wrongdoing or project them as perpetual victims. This time they seem to use the conspiracy theory of the ‘Bhagwa Love trap’ to rationalise their act of moral policing and violence against the Hindu community.

Social media conspiracy theory translates into real-life acts of violence

Multiple videos have now come to light where rabid Islamist mobs are seen openly harassing, abusing, and manhandling inter-faith couples. These videos have been reported from different cities/States of India.

The victims have been targeted on roads, restaurants, eateries, and even hotels. Based on local reports and social media videos, OpIndia has compiled a total of 30 cases where Hindu men and Muslim women were attacked by extremists under the pretext of ‘Bhagwa love trap.’

On May 15 this year, a violent Muslim mob abused and assaulted a Hindu man for being friends with a Muslim girl in Patna city of Bihar.  The duo was stopped by the mob while they were on a bike and abused for roaming together.

The Muslim girl was also schooled by the mob and asked to leave the spot and go home.“Madarch*d. Bhagwa Love Trap karega. Muslim ladki ko phasayega,” the mob could be heard abusing and accusing the Hindu man.

A similar incident came to light on May 13, 2023, in the Muzaffarnagar city of Uttar Pradesh. The Islamists asked the Hindu man about his identity and threatened him for roaming with a Muslim girl.

The Muzaffarnagar Police took cognizance of the event and filed an FIR in the case based on the complaint of the Hindu man identified as Shivansh.

While speaking to Opindia, he narrated his ordeal, “They abused me. Threatened me. They even tried harassing the woman. They removed her burqa and harassed her. It was so shameful. We are just friends, not even friends, just classmates.” 

In one such video from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, a group of extremists gheraoed two burqa-clad women and reprimanded them for befriending a Hindu man.

Initially, they stopped the two women and interrogated them for walking with a Hindu man. The Islamists then went on to forcefully remove the veils of the women. The police have registered a case against the two unidentified youths and are actively searching for them.

In another video of the same incident, the perpetrators were seen intimidating the Hindu youth accompanying the Muslim women. They were seen gripping the young man by his collar and forcefully dragging him around the market.

A disturbing video has surfaced from the Muslim-dominated Juhapura area of Ahmedabad wherein an Islamist was seen harassing a hijab-clad Muslim woman for talking to a Hindu man. The video went viral on social media last month.

“You cannot keep such friends. How can you hug these people?”, the extremist warned. He even threatened to rip apart the Hindu man accompanying the girl.

A Twitter user (@warriorbeast73) shared a video and claimed that an Islamist mob abducted a Muslim girl and a Hindu boy and forced the girl to dial her parents.

He claimed that the incident took place in the Income Tax Office area of Ahmedabad. He also sought the immediate intervention of the law enforcement authorities.

Several cases of harassment of Hindu men and their female Muslim friends/acquaintances and colleagues have come to light from the State of Madhya Pradesh.

In almost all cases, the hijab-clad girls were coerced into calling their parents while the Hindu men were verbally abused, manhandled, and even thrashed brutally.

Most of the videos were shared on Twitter by @warriorbeast73. The modus operandi in almost all cases appeared similar. An unsuspecting mob of Islamists ambushes a couple, wherein the girl is seen wearing a hijab. They coerce the man into revealing his name.

Once it is established that the man is Hindu, then, the extremists rough him up for daring to befriend a Muslim woman. They also try to harass the woman and justify their actions by blaming her for deviating from the path of Deen.

The Twitter user (@warriorbeast 73) wrote, “Muslim youths have waged a war across India against Muslim woman, who has Hindu (male) friend under the fake allegation of #bhagwalovetrap.”

Some cases of attacks by Islamists on Hindu-Muslim couples were also allegedly reported from Rajasthan.

In April this year, the police apprehended three males for harassing a hijab-wearing Muslim college girl. The incident took place in the vicinity of Makai Gate in Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar in Maharashtra.

The girl’s mobile phone was also snatched and she can be seen asking the boys harassing her to give back her phone. The intimidation started due to the youngsters’ suspicion that she was hanging out with a Hindu man. At the time of the attack, the girl had come to visit the famous Bibi Ka Maqbara in the city.

The trio made an effort to stop the pair and even questioned the girl, “Why are you walking with some other boy”. Afterward, they started harassing her. One of them grabbed the girl’s hand as she quickly moved forward to escape them.

She begged them to release her hand. This lasted for a long time and no one stepped forward to assist the girl despite the fact that there were a lot of people around them.

In one case, Islamists were seen stalking and abusing a burqa-clad woman traveling on a bike. The incident is said to be from Kalyan in Maharashtra.

In one incident, Islamists force a Muslim girl to dial her father after they realize that she is traveling with a Hindu man.

According to a Twitter user (@wariiorbeast73), a Muslim mob forced a Hindu boy and a Muslim girl to deboard a train and thrashed them later.

According to Twitter user @warriorbeast73, several incidents have also surfaced in the State of Telangana.

In one case, Islamists reportedly barged into a cafe in Ranchi and harassed a Muslim woman and a Hindu man over their new-found conspiracy theory of ‘Bhagwa Love Trap.’

The location of some of the disturbing videos could not be ascertained. Assault and public humiliation remained the key strategies, which were employed by the Islamists to shame the victims.

There were also instances of rampant verbal abuse and molestation of Muslim women by their co-religionists. In one case, the victim asked the perpetrator to not touch her inappropriately.

An Islamist responded by saying, “Hath Laga Sakate hai, kyoki Aap kaum ka Nam Badnam kar rahi ho! (We can touch you how we want. This is because you are bringing shame to our community).”

In another case, an Islamist asked a burqa-clad Muslim woman to not wear a burqa and roam naked instead. “Women like you bring a bad name to the Muslim community,” he was heard as saying.

In one video, an Islamist was seen inquiring whether a man accompanying a burqa-clad woman was a Hindu or Muslim. “Wait! Listen to me. Don’t you feel ashamed to roam with infidel Hindu in a burqa?”, the extremist threatened.

In some videos, Islamist mobs were seen barging into hotels and engaging in moral policing.

It must be mentioned that the police have not taken cognizance of all videos, which have surfaced on social media. Only a few incidents have so far made it to local reports and mainstream media.

In the absence of appropriate action by law enforcement authorities, the extremists are only likely to be emboldened. This becomes more alarming when analyzed with the fact that the viral videos were shot by the perpetrators and not the victims.

It goes on to show that the Islamists have no fear of law and order despite being well aware that the videos could be used as evidence against them.

Disclaimer: Opindia could not independently verify the authenticity of all the videos due to technical limitations.

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Dibakar Dutta
Dibakar Duttahttps://dibakardutta.in/
Centre-Right. Political analyst. Assistant Editor @Opindia. Reach me at [email protected]

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