Latest Man To Be Booked For Forced Conversion Law Converted Three Minor Hindu Girls To Islam, Enrolled Them In Madrassa In Name Of Being Fatherly Figure
The incident is from Uttarakhand where a stricter anti-forced conversion law came into effect last month.
An elderly woman in Uttarakhand this week gave a complaint against a man for getting her three minor granddaughters converted to Islam.
As per the woman's complaint, the man, Mohammed Hashim, made the girls read the kalma, and enrolled them in a madrassa.
A first information report (FIR) against Hashim was filed on 10 January at Nehru Colony Police Station of Dehradun district (number 12/2023). Hashim has been booked under section 3/5 of the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act, 2018.
Swarajya could not access the contents of the FIR as it is not available on the state website, but police station in-charge Lokendra Bahuguna shared the some details of the case over the phone.
Hashim is a neighbour of the complainant and lives in Brahmanwala area of Dehradun. He works as a scrap dealer.
The complainant's daughter is separated from her husband, Sonu Verma, from whom she has three daughters.
As per local news reports, the mother of the three girls got employment at Hashim's shop. The two got close, and the woman moved in with him.
Under the pretext of being a fatherly figure to the girls, Hashim enrolled them in a madrassa in Bijnor district's Chandpur town in Uttar Pradesh after their conversion. The girls are aged eight, six and three respectively.
The complainant (maternal grandmother of the girls) visited her daughter recently, and found out that the girls had been sent to a residential madrassa in an adjoining district. She raised an alarm and went to the police.
The grandmother went to the madrassa and got back the girls, who revealed that they had been made to go through a conversion ceremony, reports say.
As per reports, Hashim is absconding and has not been arrested yet.
In December, the Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Bill 2022 became an Act in Uttarakhand. Under the amended act, unlawful conversion in the Himalayan state now carries a provision for jail for 10 years, and is cognisable and non-bailable.
The first act was formed in the state in November 2017 on directions of the high court, which asked the government to come up with a law on the lines of anti-forced conversion laws in Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.
Two weeks after the act was enforced in Uttarakhand, the first case filed under it was by a Hindu woman who accused a Muslim man of posing as Hindu to trap her in a relationship with a motive of her conversion through nikah.
The woman alleged that Sadiq Saifi told his name as Shiv Thakur to her.
Cases of this pattern, where men from the Muslim community pose as Hindus to trap Hindu women for conversion or sexual exploitation, have become quite common in several states including Uttar Pradesh, where an anti-forced conversion law came into effect in November 2020.
Sadiq was arrested and remains in police custody.
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