In yet another alarming instance of love jihad, a 22-year-old individual named Museb Maniyar ensnared a 15-year-old Hindu girl, a 9th-grade student residing in Vesu, Surat, Gujarat. Museb, an auto-mechanic from Aurangabad, engaged with the girl on Instagram, creating an account with the name “staunch Muslim.” Their interaction progressed to in-person meetings, including a birthday celebration in a Surat hotel.
Subsequently, the situation took a distressing turn as the accused, accompanied by a friend, abducted the minor girl, transporting her to various locations, including Mumbai and Ajmer. Concerned about their missing daughter, the victim’s family alerted the authorities, prompting a police investigation. Two teams were dispatched to Maharashtra, leading to the apprehension of an accomplice.
Authorities located the minor at Ahmedabad’s Kalupur railway station through mobile surveillance, rescuing her 15 days after her disappearance. The Ahmedabad police, acting on information from their counterparts in Surat, took Museb Maniyar into custody as he attempted to return to Maharashtra with the girl.
Charges of kidnapping and under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) Act were filed based on the victim’s complaint. Both the accused and the girl underwent medical evaluation at Surat Civil Hospital and are currently undergoing questioning.
Assistant Commissioner of Police VR Malhotra revealed that the accused, employed as a mechanic in his uncle’s garage, befriended the girl on social media the previous year. Legal action has been initiated under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, including Sections 363 (kidnapping) and 366 (abduction with intent to compel marriage), in addition to the POCSO Act. Further charges may be added pending confirmation of any sexual assault.
This incident has reignited concerns about the clear threat of love jihad in Surat, where authorities note a recent rise in such cases. Approximately 25 love jihad cases have been reported in Gujarat over the past five months, with a significant number originating in Surat. Hindu organizations in the area have expressed outrage, and investigations are ongoing in accordance with the law.