Mumbai: A wedding between a Buddhist woman from Ladakh and a Muslim man from Kargil has sparked social tension in Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA) and have openly challenged for communal discontent if the woman is not ‘brought back.’
The Association has also sent a written petition to the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for the cancellation of the marriage between the 30-year-old Shifah, earlier known as Stanzin Saldon, changed name after conversion with her 32-year-old husband Murtaza Aga. Shifah is someone who got converted to Islam in 2015.
While the LBA stands against the PDP-BJP government in Jammu & Kashmir and has decided to take the matter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in order to suppress the unrest between Buddhists and Muslims.
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Another member of the Buddhist Association unveils that the Muslim lads entice Ladakhi women pretending to be a Buddhists, so that they can divulge their proper identities after marriage. They are also pressurised and forced by their husbands to make statements in favor of their marriages.
To which, Kunzang alleges that since 2003 this is the case that’s going on. More than 45 girls have married Muslim boys and claim to have done so with their own free-will, “They give such statements under threat.”
Shifah and Murtaza Agha had fallen in love while they were working in a Delhi-based NGO. It’s observed that the Buddhist association is constantly stressing on the fact that Shifah was forced to marry Murtaza and her consent was obtained under duress.
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Whereas, Shifah after the allegations of ‘Love Jihad‘ wrote in an affidavit in Srinagar that she had exercised her choice in marrying Murtaza on July 7, 2016. She also made clear declaration that she was not “induced or abducted” by her husband.
Nayeema Mahajoor, chairperson of the state women’s commission says that as per the details available, Shifah has sanctified the marriage in Bangalore in 2016.
On the other hand, the J&K high court has directed the authorities and the petitioners to stop causing any kind of harassment to the couple following a statement by the Buddhist woman before the court.
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However, Kunzang has also alleged that the government was cleansing the state of its Buddhists. “We will fight against this till the last drop of our blood,” he said.
If go to the observed pattern behaviour, Ladakh comprises two districts – Leh and Kargil – with a total population of about 2,74,000. Nearly 49% of them are Muslims. Nonetheless, according to Muslims, these conversions are not one-sided as many Muslim women too have converted to Buddhism.
Thus, it would be stimulating to see the conclusion that will be drawn out of this feud.