Minor Hindu Girl From Bihar Kidnapped From Home, Held In Captivity By Mukhtar; Accused Arrested
A 17-year-old schoolgirl was allegedly dragged out of her house in the wee hours by her stalker and his friends in the Purnia district of Bihar last month.
She was allegedly taken to Delhi and kept in captivity until she was recently rescued by the police. The accused, who is Muslim, while the girl is Hindu, has been arrested and put in jail.
Swarajya has been extensively reporting about the pattern of crimes where men from the Muslim community target women from other religious communities for stalking, sexual harassment and love relationships with the purpose of conversion or sexual slavery.
An alarming number of such love relationships have ended up in women separating, committing suicide or getting murdered.
Activist groups from various communities have used the term ‘love jihad’ for crimes of this pattern. The term originated among Christian groups in Kerala more than a decade ago. Allegations of ‘love jihad’ have been made by Sikh, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Scheduled Tribe and Buddhist communities in India. Even Muslims have accused men from their community of targeting women of other religions for conversion.
Details of the Bihar case are as follows:
On 12 September 2022, Yogesh Sharma gave a written complaint to Banmankhi police station in Purnia district of Bihar. The complaint said that on 8 September, his wife Lata Devi woke up around four in the morning to untie the animals from the courtyard.
Her daughter Payal (name changed) also woke up with her. But as soon as they reached the courtyard, a group of men namely Mukhtar Alam, Mohammad Jahangir, Mohammad Abbas and Mohammad Muntazeer barged inside the courtyard and dragged Payal out of the house.
When Lata tried to stop them, they pushed her back and took Payal away on a bike. Lata called neighbours for help as Yogesh was not at home. As he was in Bhagalpur for work, she could inform him only at night. He reached home a day later. He tried finding his daughter but failed. The same day, he received a call from an unknown number. The person on the call said that he had taken Payal to Delhi and they should forget about her.
Yogesh reached the police station and gave the complaint.
Based on Yogesh’s complaint, the police booked Mukhtar under IPC sections 363 (abduction), 365 (kidnapping), 448 (house trespassing), 504 (insulting or provoking), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (acts done by several persons with common intention).
What Yogesh told Swarajya
This correspondent spoke to Yogesh on 17 September to know the whereabouts of the girl. He said that the police had not been able to locate her yet.
Yogesh called up this correspondent ten days later, saying his daughter had returned home. He said a police team had gone to Delhi to rescue her. She was kept at the police station for medical test and recording her statement under section 164 of the CrPC before Yogesh and Lata got her custody back on 27 September.
What the survivor told Swarajya
This correspondent spoke to Payal on 29 September after permission from her father and mother.
Payal said that it was Mukhtar Alam who took her away from her house while others were his known ones.
She remained unconscious for three consecutive days before finally waking up. She found herself lying on a mattress inside a room.
She knew Mukhtar well as he used to follow her on her way to school everyday. He wanted to be friends with her. Payal never agreed to this demand as she knew he was a local goon and did no work except following girls. However, he had started threatening her, saying that if she did not give in to his demands, he would drag her out from her house. “No one can stop him and he is so powerful,” she said.
The colony Payal lives in has a small divide between the Hindu and the Muslim bastis. Mukhtar lived in the Muslim basti across the divide.
Mukhtar had been stalking Payal for more than six months. Only a close friend of Payal knew about Mukhtar as she never spoke to anyone about him in her family out of fear.
Her father, Yogesh, is a daily wage labourer and mostly remains out of the village for work. She and her mother live alone. She has an elder sister, but she is married and lives with her in-laws and husband in a different area of Purnia.
While Payal was talking to this correspondent, she was at her sister’s house. She said her father sent her there as “it is not safe for me to stay at home after returning from Delhi”.
Payal is a student of Class 12 and is still a minor. The family uses Sharma as surname.
Recalling her days in Delhi with Mukhtar, Payal said, "I remained mostly unconscious. He had a piece of cloth which he used to put on my face every day after which I used to turn unconscious",” she said.
When asked, she did not answer if Mukhtar sexually attacked her. All she replied was that her abdomen area pained whenever she woke up. She would often wake up realising she was unclothed.
Payal said that after dragging her out of her house on 8 September, Mukhtar and his accomplices took her away over a bike. There were four men besides Mukhtar. However when she woke up in a hotel room in Delhi, she saw only Mukhtar.
“He used to give me food at odd times. He told me he wanted to marry her. I had never liked him, and would cry a lot wishing to get home home,” she said.
Girl’s father was part of the raiding team
This correspondent contacted the Banmankhi police several times this week but the calls went unanswered.
Yogesh said that on 25 September, he, along with a police team from the police station, reached Delhi after they finally located Mukhtar to Delhi. However, by the time they reached Delhi, Mukhtar had taken his daughter to Purnia. He handed her over to the police and surrendered. The police arrested him and sent to jail.
On 27 September when Payal recorded her statement before the magistrate, more sections were added to the case, said Yogesh. However, he said he did not know what all sections had been added. The medical reports are yet to arrive, he said.
This correspondent asked Yogesh if he would send his daughter to school after this incident. He remained silent, saying “times are not good for girls”.
“Muslim boys in our locality are goons. They target our girls. How can I send my daughter to school in such an atmosphere?” he said.
He said he would probably keep her daughter away from Purnia at a relative’s place “till she is ready for marriage”. His voice turned heavy and he said, “Who will marry my daughter now?”
Here is a limited list of previous cases of the same pattern as this case reported by Swarajya:
Hindu Woman Files Police Case Against Ex-Boyfriend-Now-Stalker Who ‘Lied’ About His Name And Religion To Trap Her
Minor Hindu Girl Who Eloped With Muslim Man Returns To Parents After Three Years, Accuses Him Of Hiding Identity And Forced Conversion
‘Married Me In Hindu Temple, Now Forcing Me To Convert To Islam’: Seven Months Pregnant Woman Files Police Case Against Husband
Hindu Woman Who Accused Muslim Man Of ‘Trapping’ Her With False Identity Ten Days Before UP ‘Love Jihad’ Law Vows To Fight Case Till End
‘Force-Fed Me Meat On Navratri’: Hindu Woman Who Eloped With Muslim Man Accuses Him Of Triple Talaq For Not Converting To Islam
Story Of Saharanpur Resident Mamta, Who Has Accused One Sohail Of Posing As Saurav To Trap Her, Convert Her To Islam
‘He Said He Will Go To Jannat If I Converted,’ Says Hindu Woman Who Accused One Shahbaz Of Trapping Her With False Name
Interfaith Love: Rachna, Who Eloped With Irfan And Accused Him Of Forcible Conversion, Is Dead
‘He Changed Name To Rahul Only To Mislead Her’: Court Grants Divorce To Hindu Woman Who Married Muslim Man Under Hindu Marriage Act
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