New Delhi: In an admission that will give credence to fears that the new ‘love jihad’ law in Uttar Pradesh is being misused to target the Muslim community, police in Bareilly district of Uttar Pradesh have said on Sunday that three Muslim men who are accused of forcibly converting a 24-year-old woman were incorrectly framed.
The case against the three Muslim men was registered on January 1.
“On September 9, 2020, she left home along with a man named Abrar. Subsequently, a complaint of abduction was lodged at the Fareedpur police station. The woman stayed with Abrar in Delhi’s Tughlaqabad for around 15 days and then returned home,” senior superintendent of police (SSP) of Bareilly Rohit Singh Sajwan told news agency PTI.
“According to the complainant, on December 1 last year, when the girl was returning home in Fareedpur, Abrar, along with his cousins Maisur and Irshad, tried to forcibly convert her religion for nikaah. But the police have found that the accused were not at the spot on that day. According to the evidence collected by the police, the allegations levelled against the three men by the woman and her maternal uncle were wrong and the matter will be dismissed in accordance with provisions of law,” the SSP said.
He, however, added that the charge against Abrar of issuing threats to the woman at her in-laws’ place is being looked into.
“On December 11, the maternal uncle of the woman got her married in the Aonla area of the district. Abrar went to the woman’s in-laws’ place and told her to come to Fareedpur soon or else, she will face difficulties. This is being examined and if the allegation is found to be true, action will be initiated against Abrar,” the SSP said.
The woman’s parents are no more.
The new law, which was promulgated as an ordinance by the Yogi Adityanath government in late November 2020, has sparked fears that it would be used to target Muslim men, or prevent interfaith relationships. Many critics have said that the law tries to legitimise the Sangh parivar‘s claim that there is a conspiracy by Muslim men to convert Hindu women to Islam by wooing them and making them convert for marriage. Though this theory is not supported by evidence – with the Centre admitting so – many BJP-ruled states have mulled or introduced similar laws.
(With PTI inputs from Bareilly)