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First conviction under MP’s anti-conversion law: Mohammad Sabir jailed and fined Rs 56,000 for coercing Hindu girl to convert to Islam

The Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Ordinance was enacted by the Madhya Pradesh Governor on January 7, 2021.

In the first case of conviction under the anti-conversion law of Madhya Pradesh, a district court in Indore sentenced a 20-year-old man named Mohammad Sabir under the anti-conversion law for forcing a Hindu girl into religious conversion. Along with this, a fine of Rs 56,000 has also been imposed on the accused.

According to a report by ABP News Hindi, the accused has been awarded 5 years of rigorous imprisonment under sections 3/5 of the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 2021 which came into force in 2021.

Hindi daily Amar Ujala, however, reported that Special Judge (POCSO Act) Surekha Mishra, awarded the accused 20 years of rigorous imprisonment under 376(3) IPC and 5(L) and 6 of the POCSO Act and up to 7 years of jail and Rs 56,000 fine under sections 450 and 506 of the IPC.

Special Public Prosecutor Sushila Rathore said that the said order was passed by Special Judge (POCSO Act) Surekha Mishra. The court commented in the judgment and said that the crime executed by the accused cannot be ignored as it can create a massive impact on society. “No leniency can be shown to the accused for the said act,” the Court said.

The incident in which the accused got punished is said to have happened in the year 2020 in the Hatod region of Indore. The accused on September 9, 2020, raped the victim and threatened her with a knife to not share what happened with her with anyone. The girl was so scared that she decided to keep quiet, but the accused continued to rape the girl.

He also filmed the act and used it to blackmail her to respond in the way he wanted. Further after a few months, he forced her to convert her religion to Islam and marry him. He said that he would leak the video on social media if she refused to follow his orders.

The victim, tired of the threats and atrocities, finally narrated her ordeal to her parents and brother who then took her to the police station to file a report. The police lodged a complaint and launched a probe into the case. A charge sheet was presented in the court, based on which the accused was convicted.

Notably, the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Ordinance was enacted by the Madhya Pradesh Governor on January 7, 2021, and after being announced by the State Government on March 27, 2021, it became the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 2021 (the Act). The major goal of the Act is to prevent any sort of coercive and unlawful religious conversions carried out by extremists or religious organizations. The Act also requires support for the wife and kids and declares invalid and void any marriage entered into exclusively for religious conversions.

Under the Act, forced conversion of a minor, woman or a person from Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe, would draw a minimum jail term of 2 to 10 years with a minimum penalty of Rs 50,000.

Notably, Madhya Pradesh had become the third BJP-ruled state to clear the anti-love jihad and anti-conversion law after Yogi Adityanath’s Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh. 

Earlier, UP Governor Anandiben Patel promulgated the law in November three days after the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet cleared the ordinance to bring in the Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance 2020 against ‘love jihad’ while Himachal Pradesh also implemented acts against forced conversions.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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