Muslim Teen and Her Hindu Boyfriend Die in Suicide Pact After Parents Reject Their Love - Newsweek

Monday, March 19 2018

Muslim Teen and Her Hindu Boyfriend Die in Suicide Pact After Parents Reject Their Love - Newsweek

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A train departs from a station on the outskirts of New Delhi on February 28, 2017. The young couple is said to have kissed before throwing themselves in front of an oncoming train. PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images
Interfaith relationships are still a controversial topic in India, and religious tolerance between Hindus and Muslims is far from guaranteed. Since the election of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) party in June 2014, communal tensions have been rising . The government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been accused of stoking anti-Muslim violence since it took office, according to human rights groups.
Modi himself was denied a visa to visit the U.S. in 2005 because of his alleged role in the 2002 Gujarat riots , a three-day period of Hindu-Muslim violence that erupted after a train carrying Hindu pilgrims was burned in the Gujarati city of Godhra. The riots left as many as 2,000 people dead, and Modi —chief minister of Gujarat at the time—was accused of not doing enough to stop the violence.
BJP workers wave flags as they celebrate outside the party office in Mumbai on May 16, 2014. Narendra Modi's government has been accused of stoking communal tensions since coming into power. PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP/Getty Images
A 2017 case grabbed the nation’s attention—and headlines—when a court in the southern Indian state of Kerala annulled the marriage of a Hindu woman who had converted to Islam and married a Muslim man. The annulment was ordered despite the woman’s claim that she converted to Islam of her own free will.
Radical Hindu groups described the marriage as “ love jihad ” and accused Muslim men of participating in a “conspiracy to turn Hindu women from their religion by seducing them,” the BBC reported. India’s Supreme Court ruled to restore the marriage this month.
There have also been outbreaks of religious violence over the slaughter of cows and sale of beef products. The cow is a sacred animal in the Hindu religion, and “cow protection” groups have been formed across India, though cow slaughter or sale is already banned in most states. Such protection groups killed 28 Indians—of which 24 were Muslims—and injured another 124 between 2010 and 2017, according to Reuters .