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Hindu girl lured into ‘love trap’ then forced to adopt Christianity: Ground report on how the menace of forced conversions is spreading across Chhattisgarh

We all know that there are many Abhas out there who are still not heard. Their stories invariably end in death or abandonment.

We do not accept you as the daughter-in-law of the house. We will not consider you the daughter-in-law of our house until you convert to Christianity.

This is the story of Abha Mirae, a victim of forced conversion. Abha now resides in Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh. Ashish Patre, a Bilaspur resident, approached her masquerading as a Hindu. According to Hindu customs, they married in a temple. Ashish Patre later revealed his true identity after the marriage and began pressurising Abha to convert to Christianity. He married her again in a church. This, however, was not the end of the atrocities and sufferings Abha endured.

Abha is currently residing in her father’s home with her 10-month-old daughter. She is struggling in the hope that the law will one day provide her justice. However, the Chhattisgarh Police Department has removed the sections of forced conversion and torture from the complaint she lodged against Ashish Patre and his family and converted it to a mere dowry case. According to Abha, no action has been taken against the accused in this case either.

Abha came in contact with Ashish Patre through Facebook

“Ashish approached me over Facebook,” Abha told OpIndia, “I’m a Hindu, he also identified as a Hindu. On February 13, 2019, we married according to Hindu traditions at the Arya Samaj Mandir in Baijnathpara, Raipur, Chhattisgarh. Following my marriage, I moved in with my in-laws. There, I learned that my in-laws had become Christians. They started torturing me as well to get me to accept Christianity.”

Notably, OpIndia has videos, photos, and documents related to the couple’s first marriage, which took place according to Hindu customs in Raipur’s Arya Samaj Mandir, and their second marriage, which took place in a church.

Photo and document related to the couple’s first marriage which took place according to Hindu customs in Raipur’s Arya Samaj Mandir

Abha was coerced into converting to Christianity and compelled to remarry Ashish in the church as per Christian traditions. Her in-laws, however, continued to harass her despite this. “After I converted, I was tortured and made to go to church,” Abha told OpIndia. I was abused and compelled to approach my parents for money. Demand for Rs 8 lakh was placed before them. All of this happened to me because I am a Hindu,” the despondent victim of forced conversion claimed.

On December 22, 2021, Abha filed an application with the IG and Civil Lines police station in Bilaspur, detailing her ordeal. According to her petition, a week after her wedding at Arya Samaj Mandir on February 26, 2019, her mother-in-law Vimla Patre told her, “We do not see you as the house’s daughter-in-law. We will not consider you the house’s daughter-in-law unless you accept Christianity.”

Following this, her father-in-law, Lakshman Das Patre, mother-in-law, husband, and sisters-in-law began pressurising her to convert, according to Abha. She was assaulted and abused by her husband and his family members, she recalled.

On March 23, 2019, she was forcibly taken to a place called Nipaniya. Nipaniya is a village in Bhatapara Tehsil in Raipur district of Chhattisgarh. There, she was held hostage in the home of a pastor named Sunil David for three days. While she was held in captivity, the pastor forcefully took her to a church named God’s Forgiveness Church in the village and converted her to Christianity. After this, on 15 May 2019, she was remarried to Ashish at the IPC Church in Om Nagar in Jarahbhata, Bilaspur.

Abha remarried Ashish in a church after being forcefully converted

The torture continued even after forced conversion to Christianity

When the abuse continued even after all this, Abha returned to her mother’s house in 2020. Ashish, however, paid her a visit in January 2021 and emotionally blackmailed her. He apologised for everything she had to endure in his house and offered to take her home as quickly as possible. Abha walked directly into his trap. He persuaded her to have a physical relationship with him. Then in March 2021, when Ashish learned that Abha was pregnant, he again abandoned her. Here Abha recounted what Ashish told her when he learned about her pregnancy, “I am not the father of your child. I have already left you.”

Abha further told OpIndia that Ashish was in relationships with multiple girls. She further recalled how on June 11, 2021, she filed a complaint against Ashish in the Mahila Thana, but only a dowry case was registered by the police.

Opindia has copies of all complaints and FIRs submitted by Abha to police officials.

She told OpIndia, “I want to share my experience with the world so that Hindu girls can be cautious. I want to warn them about the dangers they may be in for as well as the level of deception being devised to exploit vulnerable Hindu girls. Despite my education, I fell prey to this conspiracy.”

Over the years, India has seen an increase in incidences of forced conversions through marriages, in which men from other religions conceal their true identity and target vulnerable Hindu women. They then lure and brainwash them before forcibly converting them, torturing and raping them before killing or abandoning them. Christians in Chhattisgarh have recently adopted the same strategy, except that it is arguably easier for them because most of their names are similar to those of Hindus in the area.

Abha stated that she considers herself fortunate because her parents did not abandon her even during the most difficult times, but we all know that there are many Abhas out there who are still not heard. Their stories invariably end in death or abandonment. Abha wished her voice could reach such susceptible and vulnerable Hindu women.

Note: The above report was originally published in Hindi. You can read it here.

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