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Gujarat: Working to curb ‘love jihad’ at garba venues, claims Bajrang Dal

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Ahmedabad:  Right-wing Hindu outfit Bajrang Dal on Thursday said it was working towards curbing “love jihad” incidents that may take place at ‘garba’ venues amid Navratri in Gujarat.

Volunteers of Bajrang Dal, an organisation associated with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, are standing outside such venues and distributing pamphlets to revellers making them aware of the perils of “love jihad”, Gujarat VHP spokesperson Hitendrasinh Rajput said.

These volunteers are also stopping persons from the Muslim community entering garba venues allegedly to lure young Hindu women, he said.

“Love jihad” is a term used by right-wing groups and activists to allege a concerted effort by Muslim men to convert Hindu women to Islam through marriage.

“Our activists stand outside garba venues to raise awareness among revellers about love jihad. They welcome participants with vermilion mark on their foreheads and bar people from the Muslim community from entering these dance venues,” Rajput claimed.

Rajput claimed Bajrang Dal members had nabbed four Muslims from a venue in Ahmedabad on Tuesday night and forced them to leave.

Rajput had uploaded a purported video of the incident on Twitter.

Meanwhile, in a message to Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India, the outfit said the management of these facilities must not allow the entry of Muslim men with Hindu women or be ready to face consequences.

“Hotels are generally found to be the source of exploitation of women in love jihad cases. The pious festival of Navratri remains the soft target of these ‘vidharmis’,” Rajput said in a Twitter post.

“The (HRAWI) association’s members should not provide hotel rooms to such people (Muslim-Hindu couple), failing which they will have to face consequences,” he warned.

Navratri, which started on September 26 this year, is a nine-day Hindu festival in which prayers are offered to Goddess Durga.

In Gujarat, the festivities include traditional dances (garba) at large venues with several hundred participants.

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