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India: Another Muslim man kills his Hindu partner for using social media

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A Muslim man named Shanavas killed his Hindu live-in partner, Aathira, by dousing her in kerosene and setting her alight after being provoked by her “posting videos on Tiktok”. Aathira was only 28 at the time of death.

Both had children from their previous marriages, and had been living together for the past few years near the Anchal region of Kollam, Kerala. Aathira was fond of spending time on social media and often posted videos on Tiktok or Instagram. Shanawas did not approve of this habit of Aathira, and voiced his opposition regularly, which often sparked quarrels between the two.

On June 9, Shanawas was again enraged by a recent video Aathira had uploaded on the video-sharing platforms, which led to a severe squabble in the house.

At around 7 pm, their neighbours rushed to the house upon hearing the spine-chilling screams of the 28-year-old, and were terrified after witnessing Aathira, engulfed in flames, trying to run away from Shanavas. They put out the fire, informed local police and hurried her to the Taluk hospital, but her severe burns demanded special treatment. She was transferred to the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College and admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, but soon succumbed to her injuries.

As per reports, Shanawas tried to self-immolate as well and suffered burns over 40% of his body, but he survived, and has been taken into police custody. Police have filed murder charges against him.

Now this is not one isolated case of a Muslim partner becoming angered over a Hindu partner’s social media activities and taking her life. Back in January 2020, 25-year-old Ayaj Ahmad, a delivery boy employed with an online food delivery company, bludgeoned his 22-year-old wife Reshma Manglani to death after being suspicious due to her Facebook usage. The couple had met at work, eloped, married some two years ago and had a 3-months-old baby.

The young wife spent “too much time” on Facebook and had gathered some 6000 followers on the site. This triggered suspicion in Ahmad’s mind about Reshma having an affair, which led to frequent fights, due to which Reshma had returned to her parents.

On the night of the incident, Ahmad went to Reshma’s parent’s home on the pretext of sorting things out and convinced her to reconcile with him. The couple then went on a ride together on the husband’s two-wheeler. He stopped in a deserted area, strangled her to death and crushed her face with a rock to keep her from being identified. But he was nevertheless soon arrested by the local police on charges of murder.

While modernists, liberals and leftists try to normalize interfaith marriages in the Indian subcontinent, especially when those of a Muslim man marrying and a Hindu woman, they become dreadfully silent about the catastrophic outcomes of some of these marriages, which, in most cases are not very pleasant. Young Hindu girls being killed for refusing romantic advances by men from the Muslim community is almost everyday news in India. Yet feminists who can’t emphasize women’s rights enough, do not say a word about a woman’s right to say “No” when the perpetrator who killed a woman as a reaction to her “No” is a Muslim.

Some Hindu women who have married Muslim men have reportedly been slaughtered, sliced to pieces, packed up in suitcases and abandoned. Many were pressured to sleep with the male relatives in the family on a routine basis. Refusal could lead to violence, assault and rape.

The culture clash between Islamic attitudes and those of other religions that are more tolerant of societal changes is real. For how long are we going to avoid addressing this issue? The “kaffir” woman is not as submissive to her man, as a Shanawas or Ahmad would want her to be. The “infidel” woman was not raised with the conditioning that she will have to keep herself covered head to toe in one dull color, or that she will have to obey the man and respond to every word he utters with absolute submission. Hence when the newness of the romance fades, many women find themselves trapped in a difficult and dangerous reality.

In other news, a Hindu woman Sajitha, missing for 11 years, was rescued from her Muslim neighbor’s house just 500 meters from her own in Palakkad, Kerala. She was 18 years old when she went missing, and had spent the past decade in a single room with Alinchuvattil Rahman, with no phone available. Rahman’s parents also shared the house, but they claimed that they had no idea of Sujitha presence in the house, as that room was always locked. When interrogated, Sujitha stated that she was in love with Rahman and wanted to continue living with him. Her long isolation suggested otherwise, and gave the impression that she may have come to sympathize with her captor.

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