In yet another case of Grooming Jihad (Love Jihad), a minor girl from Hardoi district in Uttar Pradesh has lodged a complaint at Shahbad police station against a Muslim youth named Azad. She has accused Azad of sexually exploiting her and forcing her to convert to Islam on the pretext of marriage.
It is pertinent to note here that Times of India reported that the victim is 21-years-old. Since there are conflicting reports on whether the victim was a minor or not, OpIndia contacted Hardoi police station for details. The police official confirmed to us that the victim is a minor and hence the POCSO Act has been invoked in the case.
Hardoi police books accused for rape, under the unlawful conversion law and for human trafficking
Based on the minor girl’s complaint, Shahdab police have filed an FIR and booked Azad under the newly promulgated law, the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020. Police have also slapped relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) against the accused.
Since the complainant mentioned in the FIR that the two were in a relationship for the last two years and during this period, Azad “raped her repeatedly on the pretext of marriage”, Hardoi police have also booked the accused for rape.
The victim added that Azad had been pressurising her to convert and often threatened her with life if she reported the matter to the police. She also said that she suspected Azad of taking her to Delhi and trafficking her.
Hardoi superintendent of police (SP), Anurag Vats said that based on the victim’s allegations, Azad has been booked for rape, under the unlawful conversion law and also for human trafficking.
The SP also confirmed that the girl alleged in her complaint that Azad told her to convert to Islam just before the wedding on November 30.
“The FIR was registered against a person identified only as Azad at the Shahabad police station. The complainant stated that she and the accused were in a relationship for the past two years and the man had promised to marry her,” Anurag Vats, Hardoi superintendent of police (SP) was quoted as saying.
UP registers first Grooming Jihad case under new anti-conversion law
After the promulgation of the new anti-conversion law, the Uttar Pradesh police have booked several people for allegedly forcing girls to convert their religion on the pretext of marriage. This Hardoi case is the fifth FIR registered under the new law against Grooming Jihad, under which as many as 28 persons have already been booked from places like Sitapur, Mau, Bareilly and Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, ever since the law has come into force.
On November 29, the Uttar Pradesh police had registered its first-ever case against one Uwais Ahmed for trying to forcibly convert a Hindu girl to Islam. The case was registered against Ahmed after a family in Bareilly district of Uttar Pradesh had lodged a complaint with the Deorania police. The accused was booked under Section 3/5 of the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020.
Provisions of the new law against Grooming Jihad
The new anti-conversion law is aimed at preventing forced conversions under the pretext of love and marriage. Under the new law, a jail term of 1-5 years is awarded to the accused (extended to 3-10 years in case of SC/STs) and a fine of ₹15,000 (₹25,000 in case of SC/STs). Moreover, the offender’s proven guilty for mass conversion will attract a jail term of 10 years.