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Hemendra Chaturvedi | HT Online | Agra | Sept 8, 2022:: BJP leader Ruby Asif Khan, 40, stepped out of her house in a Muslim dominated locality of Aligarh on Wednesday holding the idol of Lord Ganesh for immersion in river Ganga at Bulandshahr’s Narora Ghat. This was despite the death threats and fatwa issued against her for installing the idol at her residence on Ganesh Chaturthi (August 31).
Accompanied by her husband Asif Khan and two other Muslim women, Ruby performed the ‘visarjan’ (immersion) ritual amid heavy security. The Muslim women moving with the Ganesh idol were provided security by the Aligarh police for the day. Two cops stayed with them till they returned home after the ritual.
Muslim Clerics had issued a fatwa against Ruby and made a call to ostracise her from Islam. But she is not scared of these threats.
“I installed the idol of Lord Ganesh at my house on August 31. This fatwa has been issued since then. The maulanas (clerics) are saying that I have become Hindu as I have installed Lord Ganesh’s idol. I am receiving threats to boycott me from Islam and to burn my family alive. When I go out, people are calling me Hindu. I installed the idol, and in the same way, I will immerse it with due diligence,” she stated.
“It has not been a smooth sail as I have faced a lot because of my devotion to Hindu deities. I had established a ‘Ram Temple’ in my house in 2016. My daughter was shot at in 2016 and my house was also put on fire… but it all failed to deter me,” said Ruby who has been celebrating Janmashtami and other Hindu festivals. She joined the BJP in 2016 and is vice-president of ‘mandal’ (primary unit in a locality of the city) of BJP Mahila Morcha in Aligarh.
“I find peace in both – offering namaz and prayers to Hindu deities. For me, they are one and the same. Why should one face criticism or opposition for his/her belief. There are many in my locality and elsewhere who oppose me. I have lodged complaints in this regard from time to time,” said Ruby who is married to Asif Khan who fits glass and windows in Aligarh to earn a livelihood.
“My husband and in-laws support me, but unfortunately I do not get the same from the local BJP leaders who should have come to support me because I am ‘mandal’ (unit) vice president for the BJP in Aligarh. However, other Hindu brothers and sisters do take a stand for me,” she added.
Ruby Asif Khan travelled to the Ganga at Narora Ghat to perform ‘Ganesh Visarjan’ ritual and returned home later in the day.
“I am not afraid for myself but care for my six children (three sons and three daughters) and therefore seek police protection. There had been a police constable who came to my house every day for 2 to 3 hours as I had Ganesh idol at my house for a week. But no permanent arrangement for security has been made,” stated Ruby Asif Khan, who claimed that she had a narrow escape after she was shot at by someone six months ago.
Courtesy: Hindustan Times.