Karnataka high court lets Muslim girl marry Hindu man, kin oppose

KALABURAGI: Paving the way for an inter-faith marriage, the Karnataka high court on Thursday ordered the release of a Muslim girl from the state women’s hostel here and asked police to provide security to her and her Hindu boyfriend as they were facing threats. The court also asked the girl to decide if she wanted to marry her lover or live with her mother Within hours, though, under pressure from community leaders, the lovers returned to their respective homes, with the boy saying his lover may commit suicide as she was distraught.

The Kalaburagi bench of the court had come to the rescue of Nashwa Taha Sehena after her boyfriend Suresh Pawar filed a habeas corpus petition questioning her “illegal detention” in a state-run institution for a month with no valid grounds. The court hauled the hostel’s superintendent over the coals for keeping the girl under custody based on a police letter.

The decision of the couple to marry in October invited serious objections allegedly from the girl’s mother and a section of her community.

According to the habeas corpus petition, Pawar and Sehena finalised their m arriage plan and approached Kalaburagi women’s police station in October seeking protection.

The petition said police gave them a sympathetic hearing and asked the boy to return to the station the next day. The girl was asked to stay back in the station to ensure no harm was done to her. The boy went to the station the next day to learn th e girl had been sent to the state women’s hostel. Despite his requests and a letter from a woman police inspector, the hostel didn’t allow the girl to leave its premises. That was when Pawar decided to approach the HC.

The court, while hearing the case on Tuesday, gave the girl two days to decide whether she wanted to live with her mother or marry the boy. The girl said she would rather seek “permission to take her own life than return” to her mother. On Thursday, the girl told the court that she would live with the man. However, the court advised the girl to keep ties with her mother intact and said she should visit her often.

After the hearing, they parted ways following threats to their families. Pawar said, “My family has been threatened and my father who stood with me till the evening…told me to leave the girl. I just wanted to bring her out of the women’s hostel.”

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