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HomeNews ReportsHow officer in Lakhimpur ADM office, Sajid Hussain, was pressurising man to convert to...

How officer in Lakhimpur ADM office, Sajid Hussain, was pressurising man to convert to Islam when couple wanted to marry under the Special Marriage Act

Tarun said that his expectation from talking about his ordeal was only that Sajid Hussain should be acted against since he cannot legally force anyone to convert their faith to Islam since the Special Marriage Act gives interfaith couples the right to marry while retaining their faith.

On the 22nd of January 2022, Tarun Gupta finally got the marriage certificate. He had married a woman from the Muslim community (name withheld) under the Special Marriage Act 1954. Only a week after getting his marriage certificate, Tarun Gupta took to Twitter to post disturbing videos of how he was being forced to convert to Islam by an officer in the Lakhimpur ADM when the couple had approached him for the notice and the certificate after the notice period was over.

Taking to Twitter, Tarun Gupta posted a video, clearly taken in stealth. In the video, Tarun Gupta is seen talking to the officer, who was pressurising him to convert to Islam because he was marrying a woman belonging to the Muslim faith.

In the video, the officer was seen asking Tarun if he would be converting to Islam to marry his wife. To that question, Tarun is heard saying that he would not convert to the faith of his wife.

The officer further asks him how would they get married if he refuses to convert, to which, Tarun says that he has applied for marriage under the Special Marriage Act 1954, which gives him the right to marry whoever he wants without changing his religion. The officer then asks him if he knows about the law and order situation and that there have already been two such cases where the law and order worsened because of such marriages. Tarun says that he knows about the law and order, however, the Constitution gives them the right to get married under this act.

To this, the officer says that it is indeed his right and further questions him about whether the parents of both him and his wife have agreed to the wedding. Tarun says that the girl’s brother is already waiting outside and the parents of both him and the girl would be there soon. He says that his parents had come earlier as well but since they were told that they could not get the marriage certificate, they had left.

Towards the end of the video, he says that he is from Lakhimpur and he will obviously marry in this district itself. He further says neither will he be converting to Islam nor will his wife be converting to Hinduism.

According to Tarun Gupta, the officer’s name is Sajid Hussain.

What Tarun Gupta told OpIndia about the officer in the ADM Lakhimpur’s office, Sajid Hussain, trying to force conversion upon him

After Tarun Gupta took to Twitter to post the video of his encounter with the officer, OpIndia spoke to Tarun to understand what happened. Tarun told OpIndia that this process of harassment and pressure to convert has been ongoing since October 2021. While he does not remember the exact date, it was first on the 7th or 8th of October when Gupta had approached the officer to issue a notice of 30 days before marriage, which is required under the Special Marriages Act 1954.

The law says that before interfaith couples marry, a 30-day Notice Under the Special Marriage Act is required to verify the credibility of the people involved and also to ensure that the couple is not getting married under pressure.

Tarun Gupta is a 23-year-old man and his wife is 24 and both hail from Lakhimpur, Uttar Pradesh. He says that he went to the ADM office to get his marriage registered under the Special Marriage Act and that for a long time, they kept harassing him and not issuing the notice period.

Tarun claims that the officer, Sajid Hussain, told him that in Islam, it is necessary for the non-Muslim individual to convert to Islam and therefore, kept pressuring him to convert. When it became clear to him that Tarun would not convert, he suggested that if Tarun does not want to convert to Islam, his wife should convert to Hinduism.

He first approached the ADM in October 2021, Tarun says. For a long time, Sajid Hussain kept harassing the couple and refused to issue the notice period. From October to about 19th December, the officer refused to issue a notice to the couple and kept harassing Tarun to convert to Islam. In the end, in December, Tarun decided that he had to do something.

On the 19th of December, Tarun took his video and clicked a video of the line of questioning. He made the video, he says, that in Uttar Pradesh, there is a law that there can be no forceful conversion for the sake of marriage. Even if he had converted to Islam, the UP government would put him in jail. After this, the video was shown to the higher officials by Tarun. It was only then that the officer processed his notice and marriage certificate.

Tarun says, however, no action has been taken against Sajid Hussain for his actions of attempting to forcefully convert Tarun to Islam as a prerequisite to marriage. It was the higher authorities who had warned Sajid after watching the video that if he does not issue a marriage certificate to the couple, he will be suspended.

Tarun says that there were several incidents of harassment right from October to December, however, he could not record them. Talking to OpIndia, he said that after this video was clicked, the officer barred him from entering the office with his mobile phone.

He says that it is by luck that he could at least get one video as evidence, otherwise he would not be able to talk about the harassment he faced.

Evenjhough he has now got his marriage certificate, Tarun decided to post the videos on social media and talk about the harassment he faced because he feels that if Sajid Hussain is doing this with him then he must be harassing many other couples of change their faith.

A perusal of the marriage certificate issued shows that indeed both families had appeared as witnesses for the couple and that the marriage was completely consensual.

Tarun said that his expectation from talking about his ordeal was merely that Sajid Hussain should be acted against since he cannot legally force anyone to convert their faith to Islam since the Special Marriage Act gives interfaith couples the right to marry while retaining their faith.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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