By SHEIKH SAALIQ
BELAGAVI, India (AP) — Arbaz Mullah was a Muslim man in love with a Hindu woman. But the romance so angered the woman’s family that — according to police — they hired members of a hard-line Hindu group to murder him. In India, interfaith unions have remained rare, even though they are legal. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s governing party and other Hindu nationalists have decried what they call “love jihad.” The discredited theory holds that supposedly predatory Muslim men deceive women to coerce them into changing their religion. The issue has pitted Modi’s party against secular activists who contend it poses a challenge to India’s constitutional commitment to freedom of religion and puts Muslims in the crosshairs of Hindu nationalists.