Mandya/Mysuru, DHNS: N Ashitha and Shakeel Ahmed, whose inter-faith marriage has outraged Hindu right-wing elements, held their wedding reception (Walima) amid tight police security in Mysuru on Sunday. There was no untoward incident during the ceremony.
Ashitha and Shakeel at the wedding hall in Bannimantap, Mysuru, on Sunday
The couple, both MBA graduates, took part in ‘bale shastra’, the pre-wedding bangle ritual, at the bride’s house in Mandya on Saturday. The same day, the couple and their families left for Mysuru. Ashitha and her family stayed with a relative in the City of Palaces.
It’s unclear when the couple tied the knot. It was rumoured that their Nikah (the Muslim ceremony which entails the groom making an offer and the bride accepting it) was held secretely in Mandya. Ashitha is said to have changed her name to Shaista.
Heavy police security outside the wedding hall
The police escorted members of both the families to the venue of the reception, Taj Convention Hall in Bannimantap locality. The newly-married couple reached the venue at 7.20 pm in separate vehicles and the reception began 10 minutes later.
The reception was attended by dignitaries like writer K S Bhagwan, journalist Gowri Lankesh, former minister M S Athmananda, women’s rights activist K S Vimala and former MLA G B Shivakumar. Speaking to reporters, Shivakumar described the marriage as special. “Generational and cultural progress and education have brought about this change. The parents consented to the marriage. I have come here to wish the couple,” he said.
JD(S) MLA B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan is said to have visited the couple in Mandya and wished them.