Three days after registering the first case under the newly-promulgated anti-conversion law, the Bareilly police have made the first arrest in the case.
Uwaish Ahmad, 22, was booked on Sunday, hours after the ordinance against "forced" religious conversion came into effect.
Ahmad was booked under the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020, for "threatening to kidnap" and convert a 20-year-old married woman in Deorania area of the Bareilly district.
The accused had been in hiding since. He said he "feared being shot in an encounter".
"He may be under this impression, but police never intended to do any such thing as he is not a history sheeter," Additional Superintendent of Police (Rural) Sansaar Singh said.
"We were only searching for him and several teams were deployed in neighbouring districts as well. He was produced before a magistrate on Wednesday who sent him to judicial custody for 14 days.
"We will now record the statement of the complainant and the witnesses and complete the investigation in this case."
Ahmad and the woman were school friends. The girl's family had registered a case against him last year also when she had gone missing. Later, it turned out that she had left the home at the instance of the youth. They later said they wanted to live together.
She was "recovered" from Bhopal while they were on their way to Mumbai.
A few months later, she was married to another man. But Ahmad started stalking the woman, the complainant alleged.
The woman's father, in his complaint, had alleged that Ahmad had been stalking and threatening her for the past three years.
Ahmad has been booked under Section 3/5 of the ordinance, along with sections 504 (breach of peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.
Ahmad told reporters: "I have been arrested under the love jihad law. I have no link with the woman, she got married a year back. I am innocent."
The story has been published via a syndicated feed, only the headline has been changed
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