Jharkhand: 21-year-old Muslim yoga coach gets police security after threats

 Rafiya said she's been asked to change her name, give up yoga teaching and wear a veil.
Image for representational purpose only
Image for representational purpose only

PATNA: A Muslim woman yoga instructor in Jharkhand was provided police security on Tuesday after she complained of receiving threats from some Hindus and Muslims asking her to give up yoga, change her name and wear a veil.

A day after Rafiya Naaz, who teaches yoga at Primitive Tribes Service Institution in state capital Ranchi, informed Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das of the threats she has been receiving over the past few days, the city police came to her help.

“I am receiving constant threats from fanatical elements from both religions. They are asking me to change my name, give up yoga teaching and wear a veil,” said the 21-year-old Rafiya.

She declined to name the people who have issued threats to her, and said: “Some people threatened that a fatwa would be issued against me if I continue teaching yoga. Some people from a Hindu outfit reached the institute and said nobody called Rafiya Naaz must continue teaching yoga there or else face dire consequences. I am unable to get ahead in yoga and life due to both the religions.”

Ranchi SSP Kuldeep Dwivedi, who Rafiya met on Tuesday, said that a male and a female constables have been provided to her as bodyguards.

“The two constables will stay with her 24 hours. She told us of the problems she is facing from various people. A police team is also trying to identify them so that suitable action is taken against them as per law,” said Dwivedi.

Rafiya recently performed yoga with Baba Ramdev in Ranchi. She was also given the honorific ‘Yoga Prabha’ at a function in the city. Her father said it is unfortunate that some people think yoga is a Hindu system and that Muslims should neither practice nor teach it.

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The New Indian Express