Days after two cases of alleged forced conversion were reported from Jammu & Kashmir, it has now come to light that a Sikh girl was subjected to forced conversion and sexual exploitation under the pretext of marriage. The incident took place in the Khatauli city in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh.
As per reports, the accused have been identified as one Usman and his brother Nadeem. The victim reportedly knew Usman for over 2 years. She has accused him of sexually exploiting her under the pretext of marriage. The victim informed that the two accused had prepared a fake certificate of her marriage with Usman on May 19 this year. She alleged that the certificate mentioned her name as one Jannat Qureshi, while her father’s name was written as Iqbal Qureshi.
The Sikh girl has also informed that Usman had borrowed ₹2 lacs from her by forcing her to close a fixed deposit account of ₹3 lacs. Two days after their alleged marriage, Usman married a Muslim girl on May 21, 2020. She alleged that on asking the accused about her money and Usman’s newly married wife, Nadeem brutally assaulted her. When the incident came to light, it generated widespread resentment within the Sikh community.
Police arrest Usman, Nadeem still absconding
The police have arrested Usman while his brother Nadeem is still on the run from the law enforcement authorities. On the basis of the complaint filed by the victim, the cops have booked them under Sections 3 and 5(1) of the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020. Reportedly, the Sikh community in Muzaffarnagar is pleased with the Yogi Adityanath government for the rapid action taken by the police. OpIndia tried to reach the Khatuali police station but the call was not answered.
The government of Uttar Pradesh had passed a paw against forced religious conversions or conversions done with the lure of money or other incentives. Under this law, several arrests have been made where non-Muslim girls were made to convert. The law does not ban interfaith marriages. To ensure that the conversion has not taken place under coercion and after marriage, the law demands that two month’s advance notice is given at the district magistrate’s office.
Under the law, a person seeking to convert into another religion and the person who is performing the conversions must both notify the DM’s office with valid reasons and declarations. The application also has to be made in person to ensure that the conversion is not taking place under coercion or allurement.