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‘Entrepreneur’ Sana Sheikh, accused in forced circumcision & conversion case, gets funding for her ‘modest clothing’ brand in Shark Tank

Sana was recently granted anticipatory bail in connection to a case related to a Dalit man named Deepak Sonawane, who stated that Sana forced him to embrace Islam before marriage.

The Sambhajinagar-based ‘Entrepreneur’ Sana Farheen Shahmir Sheikh who is accused by one Deepak Sonawane of forcefully converting and circumcising him during their relationship, got Rs 20 lakhs funding from the popular TV show Shark Tank for her clothing brand named ‘Forever Modest’. Sana made the sharks close their 100th deal at the show for a clothing brand that offers a wide range of ‘modest’ clothing for people who opt for clothes that cover most of their body parts.

According to the reports, Sana who has recently been granted anticipatory bail by the Bombay High Court in the Deepak Sonawane case asked for Rs 20 lakhs for a stake of 10% in her company. She impressed the Sharks (judges of the Shark Tank show) and later asked all of them, Namita Thapar, Amit Jain, Vineeta Singh, Peyush Bansal and Aman Gupta to be a part of the deal, for Rs 20 lakhs for 20% equity.

Sana was recently granted anticipatory bail in connection to a case related to a Dalit man named Deepak Sonawane, who stated that Sana forced him to embrace Islam before marriage. He also said that he was tortured and humiliated by the woman and her family.

It was reported earlier, that Sana had lured Deepak into a relationship and later forced him to convert his religion to Islam. Deepak was also tortured and humiliated for money by the family members of the accused who got constant support from the influential local MP Imtiaz Jaleel at every step in this matter.

Sana accused by Deepak Sonawane of forced circumcision and conversion

Deepak Sonawane studied mechanical engineering at the Marathwada Institute of Technology in Sambhajinagar. Sana was his classmate. Both first became friends and then fell in love with each other. She later lured the former into marriage and asked him to embrace Islam and read Namaz.

The victim then met her parents and told them that he was a Dalit and that he had no intentions to convert his religion to Islam. He also said that he loved Sana but would not change his religion for marriage. However, he was later abducted by Sana’s family members and was tortured. They urinated on him and performed his forceful circumcision (Khatana). The accused said that they would make Deepak Muslim before he would marry Sana. They also threatened Deepak saying that they would kill his family and make his video of circumcision viral over the internet.

Further Deepak Sonawane had also given a detailed account of how he was extorted by these Muslims and how they hurled casteist abuse at him. He said that Sana his mother had demanded Rs 11 lakhs and threatened to defame him on the internet. Later they demanded an additional Rs 25 lakh and registered a fake rape case against him as he refused to give the money.

According to Deepak, Sana Sheikh and her family were supported by local AIMIM MP Imtiaz Jaleel at every step. He filed several complaints at the local police stations and approached several police officers but none of them took his case seriously. He said that the police refused to register the case due to the involvement of the AIMIM MP.

Notably, Deepak was granted bail by the sessions court in the rape case filed against him. The victim then said that the judge had to give the bail because the allegations were fake, though the sections are meant for an unbailable offence.

Bombay HC grants anticipatory bail to Sana

However, on March 2, Sana and her family approached the Bombay High Court seeking anticipatory bail in the case filed by Deepak in which he claimed that he was tortured, looted, forcefully circumcised and forced to convert his religion to Islam. Granting relief, the bench dismissed the allegations of ‘love jihad’ and said, “It appears that the colour has been tried to be given of love-jihad, but when love is accepted then there is less possibility of the person being trapped just for converting him into the other’s religion…Merely because the boy and girl are from different religions, it cannot have a religious (sic) angle. It can be a case of pure love for each other.”

The woman meanwhile claimed that the case was deliberately given a ‘love jihad’ angle after Deepak was asked to perform some financial transactions for the woman’s family. The Bench then noted that the man in the complaint had agreed that he was in love with the woman and that he had good relations with her family. “When the initial relationship was good and the caste or the religion was not the barrier for them, then the question of raising the issue of caste or community or religion at a later point of time will not arise,” the Court noted.

On the ‘claims’ of forceful circumcision, the court said that the expert was unable to say whether the circumcision was natural or was due to any surgical intervention. The expert was also unable to say when it would have been done. The Court also said that there was an inordinate delay in lodging the FIR by Deepak and that the delay affects the story which ‘may’ lose its importance.

‘Forever Modest’ hosts an Islamic clothing collection

‘Entrepreneur’ Sana Farheen Shahmir Sheikh who attained anticipatory bail in the case is the founder of the clothing brand named ‘Forever Modest’. According to the brand’s official website, the brand is believed to have launched in the year 2022 at Connaught Place in Sambhajinagar, Maharashtra.

Screenshot from Forever Modest website

Sana through her brand offers a wide range of ‘modest’ clothing for people who opt for clothes that cover most of their body parts. Her brand website features a wide range of varieties of Islamic styles of clothing which include Jilbab, Hijab, Abaya, Kaftan and more.

collections by modest forever (website screenshot)

As per her Instagram bio, she is also the founder of Kloud Kampus which is believed to be a computer training school. It is worth noting here that Sana and her family members have been accused by Deepak Sonawane of looting and torturing him. Deepak mentioned in his complaint earlier that Sana and her mother had demanded Rs 11 lakh from him after performing his forceful khatna. Later they also demanded Rs 25 lakh. It is quite possible that Sana might have utilized this money for establishing and developing her ‘Forever Modest’ clothing brand.

screenshot of Sana Farheen Shahmir’s Instagram profile

The woman and her family have been granted anticipatory bail by the Bombay HC. However, Deepak Sonawane has said that he would appeal in the Supreme Court, against the High Court order giving anticipatory bail to the accused.

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