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Published in the 16-31 Jan 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

"Secret marriage" of Muslim girls with Hindus averted

Meerut: Once again plans of solemnizing marriage of Muslim girls with Hindu youths secretly in Meerut’s Nari Niketans [shelters for women] by the district administration has come to light. But timely intervention by the city Qazi averted such a catastrophe.

A few years ago, ten Muslim girls of the city’s two Nari Niketans were married off to Hindu youths. When the news was published in newspapers, Muslims and their organisations raised great hue and cry as to why they were not married to Muslim youths. This time the authorities of district administration and the two Nari Niketans, Nari Niketan, Mahila Centre, Kishan Garh in Bgum Bagh and Rajakiya Uttar Raskha Grah, Boundary Road, had invited applications from interested youths for the marriage of Hindu and Muslim girls of the city. The authorities said that applications from interested persons had been advertised three months ago but probably Muslims were not aware of the announcement, so no Muslim youth applied. The date of interviews of the prospective grooms had been fixed on 22 December last year. When deputy Qazi of the city, Zainur Rashideen came to know about the date of marriage, he feared that like previous times, Muslim girls may be married off to Hindu youths. He along with some prominent Muslims of the city like Mohammad Haneef Qureshi, Hafiz Mohammad Haroon, met district magistrate Chandra Bhanu and ADM City, Suresh Dubey and requested them to extend the date of the interview from 22 December to 15 January 2005 so that they could find Muslim youths willing to marry Muslim girls. The authorities agreed to their request and the date of the interview has now been postponed to 15 January 2005. (Urdu Action, Bhopal, December 23, 2004)

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