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Uttarakhand: First case registered under the state’s anti-conversion law against one Saqib Saifi for raping and forcing a Hindu woman to convert to Islam

On the basis of her complaint, Nainital Police registered an FIR against Saqib Saifi, and his family members Ghazala, Rahila, Saba, and Yunus for helping Saifi in the harassment of the victim. 

Two weeks after the Uttarakhand assembly passed the stricter Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Bill, 2022 on November 29, Nainital Police on Tuesday registered a case against five people under the anti-conversion law. 

The case was registered on the complaint of a  Hindu woman who alleged that a man changed his identity posing as a Hindu, raped her, and forced her to convert to Islam. The accused has been identified as Saqib Saifi who pretended to be Shiv Thakur, a resident of Bambagar, and befriended the victim. Soon after the two came closer, the accused allegedly raped the victim and also pressed her to convert to Islam. The victim approached the police after she found out about the real identity of Saqib Saifi. The reported incident took place in the Ramnagar police station area.

Saifi along with his family members was allegedly tormenting the victim and had also threatened to kill her. Accused Saqib was also trying to groom the victim’s younger sister, as per the complainant. As per a TOI report, the victim was set to marry another man on December 3, however, the accused Saqib allegedly contacted the family of the victim’s fiancé and made derogatory remarks about the woman, subsequently, the marriage was called off. 

On the basis of her complaint, Nainital Police registered an FIR against Saqib Saifi, and his family members Ghazala, Rahila, Saba, and Yunus for helping Saifi in the harassment of the victim. 

“The case has been filed under Section 3 of the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act,” Nainital Senior Superintendent of Police Pankaj Bhatt said. It can, however, be classified as conversion pressure rather than conversion. The accused are subject to harsh punishment under the new government order. Following receipt of the order, action will be taken in accordance with the new rule.”

Circle Officer Bhouwali, Baljit Singh Bhakuni, said “After a medical examination, the victim’s statement under Section 164 will be taken, and further action will be taken based on her statements.” “The accused wanted to convert the girl under the guise of marriage, the girl refused, and she was then subjected to physical abuse,” he added.

Arun Kumar Saini, SHO Ramnagar police station informed that Saqib Saifi, Saba, Yunus, Rahila, and Ghazala have been charged under sections 323, 354/354D, 376, 504/506, and the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act 2018. So far, none of the accused have been arrested.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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

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