Numerous videos and images have gained significant traction on social media, purporting to be evidence of a phenomenon known as the ‘Bhagwa Love Trap.’ This conspiracy theory alleges that Hindu men are enticing Muslim women into relationships and marriages with the intention of converting them to Hinduism or resorting to violence if they refuse. In this article, we fact-check the validity of these claims regarding the alleged Bhagwa love trap.
Update (12 June 2023):
A video capturing a man inappropriately touching a girl wearing a Hijab in what appears to be a classroom has been widely shared on social media, with claims suggesting it represents an incident of a purported ‘Bhagwa love trap’ from India. Let’s examine the veracity of this claim.
Upon conducting an internet search using relevant keywords, we discovered multiple news articles from Bangladeshi media websites (here, here, and here) that feature the same viral footage. These articles reveal that the incident took place in 2016 in the Barisal district of Bangladesh. The individual involved in the video was identified as Nurul Haque, who held the position of head teacher at Sonar Bangla Secondary School in Barisal district. It was reported that Haque had established a private coaching centre for girls in a rented room adjacent to the school, where the video was recorded. Legal action was initiated by the authorities in response to this incident. This video doesn’t show any alleged ‘Bhagwa Love Trap’ incident in India.
Published (08 June 2023):
A video showing a woman’s deceased body discovered inside a suitcase is being circulated claiming it as an instance of an alleged ‘Bhagwa Love Trap’. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.
FACTLY had previously debunked this video when it gained viral attention as an incident associated with alleged love jihad. The police investigation revealed that Rahul, an employee at a private company in Gurugram, murdered his wife Priyanka during a heated argument over her demands for television, mobile phone, and other items. Rahul then concealed the body inside a suitcase and disposed of it at IFFCO Chowk in Gurugram in October 2022. Rahul was subsequently arrested, and no communal angle was found in this case.
Published (08 June 2023):
A set of images featuring a wedding couple is circulating on social media, claiming that a Muslim woman named Ikra married a Hindu man named Rahul without her parents’ consent and that Ikra was subsequently burned after two years by her husband. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.
Claim: Muslim woman named Iqra who married a Hindu man Rahul was burned after two years by her husband in Mandsaur
Fact: Both Ishika (Iqra) and Rahul are alive. Ishika, in a video, denied the claim and assured viewers that she was safe and happy with Rahul. She also called for strict action against those who spread false news about her murder. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.
An internet search using relevant keywords reveals that news websites such as News18 and News24 Online published visuals of the same couple. According to these reports, in September 2022 in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur, Iqra, a Muslim girl from Rajasthan’s Jodhpur, embraced Hinduism and married Rahul Verma, a Hindu man, as per Hindu customs. Before the marriage, Iqra converted to Hinduism and changed her name to Ishika. While Rahul’s family members agreed to the union, Iqra’s family members opposed the relationship. Despite Iqra’s attempts to persuade her family, she was unsuccessful, prompting her to flee her home. The couple underwent their wedding ceremony at Mandsaur’s Gayatri Parivar temple, following Vedic rituals. Chaitanya Sanatani, who had renounced Islam three months prior, played a crucial role in facilitating Ishika and Rahul’s marriage.
When social media posts depicting Ishika being harmed went viral, Chaitanya Sanatani clarified that the Mandsaur police had confirmed the well-being of both Ishika and her husband, dismissing the claim as misinformation. The Mandsaur police also released a video featuring Ishika and Rahul, which was shared by The Logical Indian. In the video, Ishika denied the claim and assured viewers that she was safe and happy with Rahul. She also called for strict action against those who spread false news about her murder.