[OpEd Editor’s note: This could happen in the proposed Bangsamoro autonomous region.]
COMING out in defense of a young couple, the [Indian] Supreme Court on Wednesday provided police protection to a Muslim girl and a Sikh boy in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) , who received threats after they got married.
A vacation bench of Justices Prafulla Pant and Amitava Roy also directed the J&K police not to arrest the boy who is facing charges of kidnap, registered at the behest of the girl’s parents. The J&K police has said the case could trigger communal unrest in Jammu, where the couple lived before marriage.
The girl converted to Sikhism under the customary law before tying the knot.
Seeking SC’s intervention, both Dilar Singh and Sanampreet Kaur said the local police was duty-bound to maintain law and order. Their advocate Mandeep Reen said the police cannot proceed against Dilar on communal considerations or else they would be violating the State’s responsibility to remain neutral in matters of religion.
“They are duty-bound to maintain law and order and cannot take the plea of communal disturbances to deny the fundamental rights of the petitioners under Article 21 of the Constitution of India,” the petitioners stated in their plea.
The girl, who belonged to the Muslim community, had married Dilar Singh, who works for a private cable service provider, on April 2. According to the couple, their marriage led to many problems in Jammu and it became impossible for them to live without adequate protection.
The girl, hailing from Haryana, was residing “happily with her husband in Faridabad,” the plea said and claimed that her parents, on the directions of a “khap panchayat,” were trying kill her and her husband. The couple has claimed they had approached the police in Faridabad seeking protection, but did not get any support.
“The petitioner had intimated the Station House Officer at Faridabad that they will be murdered as the khap of Haryana has decided to get them eliminated, but the police has not taken any step [to help us],” the plea alleged. (With inputs from Press Trust of India)
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