Indian Gym Trainer Shot By In-Laws Over Interfaith Marriage

On October 30, Deva Chand (26), a Hindu gym trainer was shot in the head in Model Town, an upscale neighborhood in Northwest Delhi. Chand was shot by his brother-in-law, Shahnawaz (21), and Hrithik (20), both of whom are Muslim.

Usha Rangnani of the Delhi City Police said they "received information around midnight that Chand was on a bike with two men." Rangnani explained that the suspect riding at the back of the bike fired at Chand. "They have been apprehended and are being questioned," he added. Both suspects were charged with attempted murder.

Speaking to police investigators, Shahnawaz confessed to the shooting and explained that he was "upset and angry" at his sister's marriage to someone with a different religion.

Interfaith relationships and marriage have become an increasingly contentious topic in India. Last month, a Muslim man was beheaded by a Hindu nationalist group for having a relationship with a Hindu woman.

The couple have known each other since they were teenagers and were married this July, against their parents' wishes.

Speaking to the Indian Express, Deva Chand's wife explained that her family has always been against her marriage. "They even stopped talking to me," she added. She also recounted how her brother called and told her that he wanted to meet with them. "It's been three months since I have spoken to my brother… I was happy, and we went to meet him," she explained. "However, they dropped me off at Model Town and went on their bike. I returned home and received a call later that night about the firing," she added.

"I know he was upset, but I never expected this would happen," Deva's wife explained. She insisted that her brother should be punished for what he did. "Do what can be done. They mean nothing to me. I just want my husband to be okay," she added.

The victim's family also insisted on proceeding with the charges. Deva's father said that they were also against the marriage but have learned to accept their daughter-in-law. He added that her family has been threatening their family. "How could he hurt Deva? He was always good to others," his father added.

The suspect's family declined to release a statement regarding the shooting, local news outlets reported.

As of the writing of this article, the victim is still in critical condition but is undergoing treatment.

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