The Gujarat police have arrested three men under the Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Act, 2021, for forcing a Hindu woman to convert to Islam. This is the third case registered under the ‘love jihad’ law by the Gujarat police ever since the Gujarat government passed the law, reports Times of India.
According to the reports, a 23-year-old woman had registered a complaint at the Fatehgunj police station in Vadodara on Wednesday, accusing her husband Mohib Pathan of forcefully converting her religion. The complainant said to the police that she had first met the accused in 2018 when she used to attend his tuition classes. They both exchanged phone numbers and started talking with each other, the victim said.
Further, the lady said that Pathan asked her to marry him and had assured her that she would be allowed to follow her own religion. The couple had registered marriage in August 2020, following which she lived with Pathan at his house in Chhani.
In her complaint, the woman accused Pathan of indulging in unnatural sex and thrashed her if she refused to comply. After a month of the marriage, Pathan began to force her to change her name, the police said. Later, Pathan called a Qazi and performed marriage rituals as per Islam.
Pathan forced her to convert to Islam, threw away idols of Hindu deities
The victim woman also alleged that Pathan did not allow her to pray as per her religion and threw away the idols of deities she had brought. The lady also named Pathan’s father Imtiyaz Pathan and elder brother Mohsin Pathan in the complaint.
In her complaint, the woman said the elder brother Mohsin had tried to molest her when she was alone at home. Her husband did not protest even when she informed him about the incident, she added.
The complainant also said that Pathan had thrashed her after she had named their baby Shiva. Pathan got violent again on Wednesday, and the woman left her house and approached the police.
Following the complaint, the police have arrested all the three accused in the case. The Vadodara police said that they are investigating to know whether there is anyone else involved in the incident. ACP Paresh Bhesania said that the accused have also been booked under IPC sections 354 for outraging a woman’s modesty, 498-A for domestic violence and 377 for unnatural sex.
The Gujarat government had recently passed the Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Bill 2021 in the Assembly prohibiting “forcible conversion by marriage”. The act was passed in the recently concluded budget session of the Gujarat assembly and was approved by Governor Acharya Devvrat.
The Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act 2021 provides for stringent penal action against any individual or institution for forced religious conversion through marriage. The act came into force on June 15.
Gujarat police registers two more complaints under the amended law
The Gujarat police have already made arrests under the law in two separate cases of grooming Jihad. On June 19, the Gujarat police registered the first case under the amended Act and arrested six people, including five from a family in the Tarsali area in Vadodara.
The Gujarat police arrested six people after a 24-year-old woman had accused one Sameer Ahmed Qureshi of faking his religious identity by pretending to be Christian and lured her into a relationship by “promising her modern life after marriage”.
The complaint had further stated that she met him through social media, and she alleged that she was raped on four occasions by the accused at a hotel and the residence of a co-accused. The 26-year-old accused also shared intimate photos of the woman to blackmail her into marrying him and then converting to Islam, said the complainant in her statement to Vadodara police.
In another case, a 23-year-old man named Imran Ansari was arrested by the Gujarat police for kidnapping and raping a 19-year-old Jain girl. The accused lured the victim by establishing a ‘romantic relationship’ with her. Ansari, who hails from West Bengal, allegedly abducted the girl on June 10. The case came to light after the victim went missing from her house. The girl’s family then lodged a missing complaint and named Ansari as a suspect behind her disappearance. The accused first took the victim to Ajmer in Rajasthan and later to Madhya Pradesh. The accused had also sexually exploited the victim.