The state police claim to have recovered and brought back Bharti Singh, daughter of former BJP MLA Surendra Nath Singh, from Jalgaon in Maharashtra, to Bhopal on Tuesday.
Bharti, who was missing for a week, has been lodged at the Gauravi Sakhi Centre in the Bhopal District Hospital complex. The police have also brought a youth who was staying with Bharti and have placed him at a safe place. The two will be medically examined before their statements are recorded.
Surendra Nath Singh visited his daughter soon on her arrival and said efforts are being made to convert his daughter. He said that his daughter is being treated for four years for drug addiction. She is being counselled for quite some time now.
Bharti (28) on the other hand has moved the state High Court in Jabalpur to seek protection against her parents and a cousin who she said had been torturing her for nearly 10 years.
Surendra Nath Singh created a controversy over the past few days after his daughter left home a week ago. He alleged she was a victim of "love jihad".
Singh said "love jihad" means conversion and "nobody has the power to get my daughter converted. Whoever tries that will be destroyed. My daughter has been made to take drugs."
The former MLA said the hookah lounges culture is driving the youth to drugs. He said the hookah lounges should be closed. "If the government does not shut them, we will," he said. Incidentally a sizeable number of the lounges are owned by BJP leaders.
As per a report lodged by her family Bharti suddenly went missing from her house at around 3 a.m. on October 16. Meanwhile, Bharti put out a video on social media on October 19 accusing her family members of confining and harassing her. She claimed she is in good health and could take a decision about her life. She said she had to leave home several times in the past due to harassment by family members.
On Sunday, Surendra Nath Singh accused local Congress MLA Arif Masood of promoting "love jihad" after Bharti went missing. He said anything could happen in the city if his daughter was not found by 12 noon on Monday and the administration would be responsible for it.
A large police force was deployed even before the supporters of the BJP leader reached Peergate locality in a procession. The supporters dispersed after a brief protest. Bhopal Mayor Alok Sharma has supported Singh's call against love jihad and his observations about hookah bars.
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