Hindustan Times (Gurgaon) - City - - LIFESTYLE -

“Dange kar­waoge kya? Aur bhi asaan tarikey hain marne ke...(Do you want to trig­ger ri­ots? There are eas­ier ways to die)”, This is what ev­ery­one, who knew their story, told them. Child­hood friends, Af­sana Bano, 22 and Malkit Singh, 24, be­longed to two dif­fer­ent re­li­gions but their hearts beat as one. Af­sana’s fa­ther beat her up with an iron rod, burnt her with cig­a­rettes and locked her in a room with­out food and water for days for lov­ing a Sikh man. Her un­cle planned at­tack­ing Malkit with the sup­port of lo­cal his­to­rysheeters, and pledged to kill the off­spring from this union. The lo­cal­ity where the cou­ple lived had a his­tory of com­mu­nal clashes and faint-hearted cops didn’t in­ter­vene, fear­ing that it would “dis­turb law and or­der.” A jour­nal­ist helped them run away, got them mar­ried and en­sured po­lice pro­tec­tion once they re­turned home. The cou­ple had a baby boy last Di­wali. “I didn’t look for re­li­gion in Af­sana’s name..love is the only true re­li­gion. This is what Sikhism has taught me,” says Malkit.

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