SRINAGAR—Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) in Ladakh expelled a 74-year-old Muslim leader after his son eloped and married a Buddhist woman.
Sheikh Nazir Ahmad, vice president of the Ladakh BJP, was expelled from the primary membership of the party after his son married a Buddhist woman a month ago.
BJP issued a formal statement saying, Sheikh Nazir Ahmed was given an opportunity to explain his role in the sensitive matter of his son Manzoor Ahmed, eloping with a Buddhist girl.
The BJP said that this incident was unacceptable to all religious groups in Ladakh, as it posed a risk to communal harmony and unity in the region. Consequently, the party promptly took action to revoke his primary membership within the BJP.
Denying the party’s allegations, Sheikh Nazir Ahmed said he played no role in the incident. He claimed that the accusations were baseless and explained that he had been planning his son’s marriage to his sister-in-law’s daughter. He expressed his family’s distress over the situation. He said his wife was deeply affected by his son’s action.
Questioning his expulsion, he said he was being held accountable for his son’s actions. He highlighted that parents are not usually informed when their children go against their wishes. “My son is 39 years old and the woman he married is 35. I believe both had performed nikah way back in 2011. Last month, they performed court marriage when I was away on Haj pilgrimage,” he said.
Sheikh Nazir Ahmed said he refused to resign as he considered himself a founding member of the BJP in Ladakh.
He said the timing of his expulsion might be linked to the upcoming elections. He clarified that he was on a Hajj pilgrimage when his son eloped and learned about the incident upon his return from Saudi Arabia.
Ashok Koul, the BJP’s general secretary (organization) for the J&K and Ladakh unit, characterized the situation as a “love jihad-like case.” He said: “They had requested Sheikh Nazir Ahmed to find the woman and facilitate her return to her family, but no action was taken”.