Waiters ‘spy’ on ‘love jihad’ cases for VHP

The Asian Age.  | Amita Verma

India, All India

Outfit says identity of such informers remains protected.

(Representational image)

Lucknow: Restaurant waiters, college students and out of work youth are now working as spies for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in western Uttar Pradesh.

These “spies” help the VHP identify people in inter-faith relationships and cases of “love jihad”.

Vivek Premi, VHP convenor of Shamli, Muzaffarnagar and Baghpat districts, told reporters, “We have had great success in stopping the scourge of ‘love jihad’ in western UP. This is primarily because we get information as soon as we hear about a potential relationship between a suspicious Muslim man and a Hindu girl. In fact, even the cops are befuddled! They do not know how we get information before they do but the fact is that we do.”

He said that the organisation had created an information network among restaurant employees such as waiters, cashiers and kitchen staff across the communally sensitive, riot-scarred districts of western Uttar Pradesh. He added that the strategy was working because in the past one fortnight, they had caught four cases of “love jihad” in Shamli, two of which were at a restaurant.

Vivek Premi added, “Restaurant employees are a very valuable resource for us. They have not been officially inducted as our members since that would mean restaurant owners would find out who they are. But they play an important role in the organisation nonetheless. We have eyes and ears in at least 50 per cent of the restaurants in Shamli district alone. We also have our people who work at roadside dhabas on highways. When they see an odd looking couple, they slip out quietly and give us a call. Our boys reach there in no time.”

Mr Premi said that apart from restaurant employees, his organisations also relied on college students and youth spread across the region.

These students are connected via social media platforms such as WhatsApp, which helps the VHP get “information on love jihad” quickly.

Mr Premi, 24, said that he makes sure that the identity of the “informers and spies” remains protected.

Incidentally, Mr Premi had shot to infamy after a video of his beating and parading a Muslim man in Shamli went viral in June 2015.