A Hindu woman from Uttar Pradesh’s Lucknow in district who married into a Muslim family, has died of burns after attempting self-immolation. A video of the woman setting herself on fire and policemen trying to save her had gone viral on social media.
Anjali Tiwari alias Ayesha died in a hospital in 15 October.
English media has little coverage to the case. This is the information that the regional Hindi media has provided:
Anjali hails from Jharkhand. After her first marriage with a Hindu man from UP fell apart, she shifted to Lucknow’s Maharajganj area and started living in a rented accommodation. She began working in a clothes shop for a living.
It was during this time that she met Aasif Raza. When the two decided to marry, Aasif asked her to convert to Islam. Anjali did that and became Ayesha. Aasif’s family however was against this union. The couple then shifted to Gorakhpur.
As per the report, Aasif began to harass Anjali. He even moved alone to Saudi Arabia. For the last 2.5 years, Aasif had been living in Saudi. He cut all contacts with her and stopped sending her money.
A distraught Anjali went to Aasif’s house and staged a protest outside (other reports say it was on 4 October). As per the Aaj Tak report, the local police removed her from the spot and took her to the police station, where she revealed her story.
The police however neither registered a case based on her statement nor took any action. On Tuesday, she alighted from an auto-rickshaw outside the police station in Hazratganj and immediately set herself on fire.
As per a report by Navbharat Times, Anjali sustained 90 percent burn injuries and remained critical all of Tuesday.
An Indian Express report says that the police are terming the self-immolation a conspiracy hatched by a political leader. The police have arrested Alok Prasad Pasi, state president of the UP Dalit Congress, and said that they suspect that he incited the woman to take the step.
The report quotes Lucknow DCP (Central) Somen Barma as saying that the police have filed an FIR for abetment to suicide against Pasi, who is also son of former Rajasthan Governor Sukhdev Prasad.
It is pertinent to mention that both Indian Express and The Times of India have kept the identity of the woman and her in-laws’ family hidden in their reports.
The case comes at a time when a fictional ad by jewellery brand Tanishq portraying a happy inter-faith marriage between a Hindu woman and a Muslim man is being hailed in the English press and its criticism from common masses being criticised as communalism.