News Brief

Rupali Chandanshive, Who Was Seeking Divorce From Estranged Husband Iqbal Sheikh, Killed By Him In Mumbai

Swarajya Staff

Sep 28, 2022, 03:12 PM | Updated 03:12 PM IST

A picture of Iqbal and Rupali from a report by Dainik Bhaskar
A picture of Iqbal and Rupali from a report by Dainik Bhaskar
  • Accused Iqbal has been arrested by the Mumbai police and have been booked under sections of murder.
  • In yet another case of murder of a Hindu woman in an interfaith relationship with a Muslim man, Rupali Chandanshive was slit by estranged husband Iqbal Mohammed Sheikh in Mumbai on 26 September.

    As per various reports, Rupali was 20 while Iqbal is 36.

    Rupali married Iqbal in a conversion-nikah ceremony three years ago. She was renamed as Zara. Two years ago, she gave birth to a son. The couple named him Ali.

    The Times of India, in a report published in the Mumbai edition today, has quoted an unnamed police officer saying that Iqbal would often fight with Rupali over her refusal to wear a burqa and speak in Hindi.

    The officer said that six months ago, Rupali left Iqbal and returned to her parents in Chembur.

    The same report further quotes Zonal deputy commissioner of police Krishna Upadhya as saying that the couple quarrelled over domestic issues, including her refusal to wear a burqa.

    However, on Monday night, the tiff was over custody of Ali who has been staying with Iqbal since the separation, Upadhya told the newspaper.

    Rupali had recently moved into a rental accommodation with a woman friend close to her parents’ house. It was there that Iqbal came to meet her and eventually stabbed her to death.

    The site of the crime falls under Tilak Nagar police station, where the police booked and arrested Iqbal for murder on Tuesday (27 September).

    The Indian Express, in a report published in its Mumbai edition today, says that Rupali asked Iqbal to give divorce to her. Unlike the Times report, the Express report says the son had been living with his mother.

    “…Shaikh slit her throat with a knife on the road and fled from the spot. She succumbed to the injuries and was declared dead by the time she was rushed to the local hospital,” the Express quoted an unidentified police officer as saying.

    The murder of Rupali follows a pattern of communal crimes that Swarajya has been reporting relentlessly for the past few years. There is an alarmingly high number of Hindu women who have got murdered in similar interfaith relationships in the past couple of years alone.

    The targetting of non-Muslim women for relationships with the purpose of sexual exploitation or their religious conversion is already a pattern recognised by many religious groups, including Sikhs, Hindus, Christians, Jains and Buddhists, and given the name ‘love jihad’.

    While Uttar Pradesh brought about a law against unlawful conversions in November 2020, at least 11 states have tabled similar bills in the parliament.

    The murders, whether executed after marriage for refusal to follow Islamic customs or before marriage for refusal to convert and marry, only add to this pattern.

    Some of the cases reported by Swarajya of such murders are:

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