A Muslim girl, Nazia Saifi alias Asiya, whose sister married a Hindu boy in Aligarh after going missing, has levelled serious allegations against former BJP mayor Shakuntala Bharti. Asiya held a press conference on Sunday, with the help of two local journalists and a local AIMIM leader, in which she accused Shakuntala Bharti of converting Muslim girls by luring them and marrying them off to Hindu boys. She accused the former BJP mayor of doing the same with her sister.
In a video, which was shared widely by Islamists on microblogging site Twitter, Asiya could be heard saying that her sister had been missing since August 7. She said her husband had filed a missing person complaint in the local police station but the police didn’t do anything.
She said that she was really harassed by the police authorities. “When I threatened to go to the media, the police brought my sister in a car where she was accompanied by Shakuntala Bharti and I was not allowed to speak to my sister despite repeated requests. Shakuntala Bharti is converting Muslim girls… this is something wrong that is happening with Muslims… who would get me justice,” she says in the video.
A claim which the former BJP mayor Shakuntala Bharti has denied outrightly. She had asserted that if someone can prove the charges against her, she would leave the state forever.
Watch this video, Aligarh, UP.— Md Asif Khan (@imMAK02) August 15, 2020
This Muslim girl alleges that her sister was forcefully converted into Hinduism by a local BJP Leader Shakuntala Bharti.
She accused Shakuntala of forcing Muslim girls for conversion, and marry to Hindu boys. pic.twitter.com/8gSGwEsAjE
Many media houses also carried the news that the girl’s sister has alleged that former BJP mayor had presurrised the Muslim girl to convert and marry the Hindu boy.
Meanwhile, Asiya’s husband Parvez also lodged a complaint against the Hindu boy. He alleged that his sister-in-law escaped with the Hindu boy and took some jewellery and cash with her and was converting herself to get married to the boy. Acting on the complaint the police registered a case against the boy under section 363, 366 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and started looking for the girl.
Now, the police have traced the missing Muslim girl named Faizi aka Preeti. In her statement to the cops, Preeti has refuted the allegations levelled by her sister on the BJP mayor. The Muslim girl contended that she had embraced Hinduism and married the Hindu boy, Rishabh, on her own will and that no one had put any pressure on her. She told police that she was an adult, and had herself decided to marry the Hindu boy. She furthered that she married Rishabh on August 10, in an Arya Samaj temple following the Hindu rituals.
The girl confessed that her sister Asiya did not want her to marry Rishabh, that was the reason why Asiya made such bizarre allegations. “I got married according to my will. He (her husband) used to come to my house, that way I met him. I was not under pressure from anyone. This has nothing to do with the former mayor. The allegation my sister has made is wrong. My sister does not want me to be with these people (her in-laws). She abuses these people,” she said.
The Muslim girl, who now calls herself Preeti, said that Shakuntala Bharti had nothing to do with her marriage. In fact, according to Rishabh, he approached the former mayor after getting death threats from Preeti’s relatives. Rishabh confirmed of approaching Shakuntala Bharti to seek protection.
The Aligarh police have booked four persons, including Asiya. The police arrested journalists Faizan and Shiraz Ahmed from the spot for disturbing ‘communal harmony’ and violating prohibitory orders and Section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act. Nazia alias Asiya and AIMIM leader Mohd Nazim escaped. Besides charging them with breaking the lockdown rules, the police also invoked Section 153 A (promoting enmity between different communities) and 505 (2) (making statements to spread hatred) of the IPC against the four, in the FIR.