A 28-year-old Hindu woman in Kerala has accused her family and a local Yoga Centre of holding her captive and torturing for 22 days because of decision to marrying a Christian man.
The woman said that the Yoga and Charitable Trust in Kandanad wrongfully confined her and it owner, Manoj Guruji, made every attempt to coerce her into marrying a Hindu man instead.
The Ernakulam police has filed a case of illegal detention against members of the woman’s family and also against yoga centre, reported NDTV.
According to the complaint, the controversial Yoga Centre also held 65 other women captive but this woman was able to escape. The Kerala High Court is likely to hear a petition.
The woman, identified as Dr Swetha Haridasan, said that she was to Thrissur native Rinto Isaac who is a Christian. She was forced to be admitted at the Yoga Centre by her father and relatives. Hindu fundamentalists at the Centre repeatedly tortured her at the counselling centre, New Indian Express quoted her affidavit.
“…when I objected and tried to escape from illegal confinement they physically assaulted me and outraged my modesty by tearing my dress…There were such 65 girls illegally detained and tortured and many had complained about sexual abuses,” the woman has told the police.
The women held captive inside the so-called Yoga Centre were forced to use just one washroom that did not have bolts and wear wet clothes since there was no place to dry them. As a result, many of them have fallen ill.
According to an India Today report, the woman got married to a Christian man despite opposition from her family members. Under the guise of reconciliation, Manoj and his parents invited the victim to their sister’s house at Avoli, Muvattupuzha on 28 July and from there they took her to the Yoga and Charitable Trust at Kandanad run by Manoj Guruji on 31 July.
She said in her complaint, “Manoj had arranged the entire conspiracy, torture and he misled me to accompany my sister for yoga learning there. Then for 22 days, I was subjected to torture and cruelty by the accused. The 2nd accused introduced as an advocate of High Court, the 1st accused claimed as Guruji and the accused 3 to 5 were the counsellors. They illegally confined me there, confiscated my mobile phone and belongings, tied my hands, mouth, legs using cloth from behind and assaulted repeatedly.
“They threatened me with the evil consequences of marrying a Christian and when I objected and tried to escape from illegal confinement they physically assaulted me and outraged my modesty by tearing my dress. There were classes regarding the evil spirits of Christianity and Islam and they used to promote enmity towards Islam and Christ.”
This shocking incident comes at a time when the Supreme Court has taken a special interest in inter-faith marriages and even ordered the NIA to probe the allegations of Love Jihad. NIA is a national probe agency to deal with the cases of terrorism. Kerala is currently governed by CPI-M-led Left Demoratic Alliance.