Neither love nor jihad in Maha MP's controversial claim

The 19-year-old woman from Amravati who went missing on Tuesday was found at Satara railway station on Wednesday night.

Credit : Shubham Patil

Lok Sabha MP Navneet Rana’s attempts to stoke fire with the so-called ‘Love Jihad’ allegations, when a 19-year-old woman from Amravati went missing on Tuesday, were proved to be unfounded after the woman was found at Satara railway station on Wednesday night.

Moreover, after the police took a statement from the woman, it was revealed that she had left her home on her own accord, fed up with her parents’ harassment, reports say. While the incident was given a communal angle, the police also said that the woman had left alone and she was not accompanied by any man as the leader had been claiming.

A missing complaint was registered in the Rajapeth police station in Amravati after the parents found that the woman had left the home without informing them. On Wednesday, following this news, a video of Rana causing a ruckus at the police station went viral. She was seen shouting at the police officers aggressively demanding a speedy investigation into the whereabouts of the missing woman.

After this, she appeared on several new channels giving bites, making emotional appeals regarding “Hindu girls being targeted”. She also elaborated on a so-called love jihad scam being run in Amravati by a certain community.


Also Read: Quoting hatred: Love Jihad and where political parties stand on the issue


The police had detained a 20-something man suspected to have been responsible for the woman going missing. However, the man was picked up from his home several hours after the woman was reported missing. This did not deter Rana from continuing to accuse him and she was even seen claiming that the man had left the woman with his friends while he stayed back to take care of the situation back home.

However, the woman is now back. Reports say that Satara police have informed that she had left her home of her own will. The Amravati police will not be registering any formal love jihad complaint unless the woman says so. All of these developments, however, have not gained as much media attention as Rana’s screaming allegations of love jihad did.

After being used as a tool of propaganda for years, the so-called love jihad was given a legal platform by the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh in early 2021. Several other BJP-ruled states including Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, etc. have followed the suit with their own versions of anti-conversion laws. Maharashtra never came close to discussing such a law for the state during this time despite BJP leaders demanding it constantly, as the Maha Vikas Aghadi government was in power in the state. However, with the BJP back in power in the state along with Shiv Sena rebel leaders, the highly controversial term has made its way to the headlines in the state.