Nearly 20 days after an interfaith couple from Madhya Pradesh's Dindori district eloped and got married in a temple in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district, MP High Court's Jabalpur bench restrained police from taking any action against the man on a kidnapping case lodged by the woman's kin.
A single bench of the high court headed by Justice Nandita Dubey hearing a petition filed by the 22-year-old Sakshi Sahu who eloped with Asif Khan pointed out that the petitioner is a 'major', who married 24-year-old Asif Khan 'willingly'.
"The petitioners have further stated that they were wrongly advised to get married in the temple… nobody informed them that they should get their marriage registered under the Special Marriage Act. They submitted that they will get their marriage registered under the Special Marriage Act, as both of them are living together since 07.04.2022. It is further stated that being a citizen of India, they have a right to choose the life partner of their choice."court order read.
The court also said, "Further they will also be given protection, in case any action is taken against them by the society..."
Timeline of Asif and Sakshi's Elopement and Dindori Admin's Actions
On 4 April, Asif and Sakshi eloped following which a case was registered under the Sections 363 (Punishment for kidnapping) and 386 (Extortion by putting a person in fear of death or grievous hurt) of the Indian Penal code based on the complaint of Sakshi's brother Mohit Sahu on 5 April.
On 7 April, while Sakshi and Asif were getting married in a temple in Dantewada in Chhattisgrah, district administration of Dindori, MP, demolished three shops belonging to the family of Khan, citing 'illegal construction'.
Hours after this, former BJP minister Om Prakash Dhurvey and party's district president Narendra Singh Rajput on 7 April sat on a protest demanding demolition of Asif Khan's house. The district collector and the sub-divisional magistrate of Dindori met the protesters.
Following the protest, Khan's house, which was under the name of his father Haleem Khan, was demolished citing 'illegal construction' on 8 April.
Responding to questions by media, SDM Balbir Raman said:
"The house was demolished as it was found to be illegal by the tehsildar. There was also communal tension in the village. People wanted the house to be razed."
However, when contacted independently, neither collector Ratnakar Jha nor SDM Balbir Raman responded to the calls and messages of The Quint. Their responses will be added to as and when they revert.
Sakshi's Appeal to District Admin and CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan for Help
On 9 April, a video of Sakshi Sahu emerged where she could be heard saying that she had married Asif Khan of her own accord. Sakshi in the video requested help from CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan against the false cases against Asif Khan.
"I am Sakshi Sahu, resident of Shahpura in Dindori. I married Asif Khan in spite of the opposition from my family. My husband Asif Khan's family is being falsely implicated. I married him of my own will but my family is misusing the facts and lodged cases against Asif's family. I urge the CM to help me or else both my husband and I will commit suicide."Sakshi Sahu