Police have detained four members of a hardline Hindu militia founded by the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh on suspicion of killing a Muslim man who had helped an interfaith couple elope, an investigating official said on Wednesday.
A 60-year-old farmer was killed on Tuesday by a mob that included members of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, or Hindu Youth Force, set up by Yogi Adityanath, a priest recently named by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lead India’s most populous state.
Adityanath, backed by his volunteer force, spearheaded the campaign of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in this year’s Uttar Pradesh state polls, helping to secure a landslide victory in the northern state.
Since his appointment, units of the Hindu Yuva Vahini have ramped up their anti-Muslim rhetoric and launched a campaign against so-called “Love Jihad” – what they regard as an Islamist strategy to convert Hindu women through seduction and marriage.
“The case of a Hindu girl eloping with a Muslim boy led to religious tension and members of the Hindu Yuva Vahini declared it was Love Jihad,” said Jagdish Sharma, a police officer leading investigations in Bulandshahr district, 70 km (40 miles) to the southeast of India’s capital New Delhi.
read more- Reuters