LUCKNOW: Alleged inaction by the district police in a murder case drove a Muslim family to embrace Hinduism in Baghpat district of UP on Tuesday. The family members claimed that they were converting as they were not getting justice for the murder of a family member.
However, Baghpat District Magistrate has ordered a high-level probe into the incident. The family, subsequently, submitted affidavit to the sub-divisional magistrate of Badaut town testifying their voluntary change of religion, said an official of district administration.
He added that all of them embraced Hinduism on their own and that there was no pressure from any quarter on them. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and workers of Hindu Yuva Vahini called it 'ghar wapsi' and organized a 'havan' in their village to complete the conversion process. The family was also given Hindu names. Sources claimed that the family members donned saffron robes and chanted -"Jai Shri Ram-".
Vande Matram was also rendered after the conversion ceremony. Those who switched over to Hinduism included Akhtar Ali, Nafisa, Zakir, Dilshad, Naushad, Irshad, and others. While Akhtar Ali, 68, the family head is now known as Dharam Singh, his sons changed their names from Dilshad to Diler, Naushad to Narendra and Irshad to Kavi. Those converted also included Akhtar's three daughters-in-law, two grandsons and four granddaughters.
According to Vahini's district president Yogender Tomar, it was not a case of conversion, but reconversion. This family's ancestors had converted to Islam some 5-6 generations ago. "Now, they are back into Hinduism," he told media persons. As per Akhtar Ali,68, his son Gulshan Ali, 28, was -"murdered-" by some members of Muslim community in Nevada village in the month of July. Gulshan was found hanging from a clothes' hanger in his shop.
"It was quite evident that Gulshan was murdered as it was not possible to die by hanging from hanger," Akhtar said while talking to media persons. The police, however, registered a case of suicide and when the family approached senior officials, they got no reprieve. Around 3000 Muslims were present in the village but no one came forward for family's help. After a few days, the local police even closed the case calling it a suicide.
"Despite submitting several applications to the higher authorities, we failed to get a justice,-" Akhtar said. "This triggered the thought to convert to Hinduism which may probably make the cops probe the murder of Gulshan sincerely," Akhtar said.
"Later, a Muslim panchayat was held where we were humiliated instead of being offered any help. Facing non-cooperation from our own community, we decided to change our religion. We hope to get justice now," Akhtar Ali said. Baghpat District Magistrate Rishirendra Kumar confirmed the incident and ordered a high-level probe in coordination with police administration into the issue.
He felt that it was a gimmick to pressure administration and police to conduct investigation into a case according to their will. "On Monday, five persons had come to Badaut tehsil with an application for conversion of 20 of their family members. On Tuesday, the number got reduced to 13. Besides, they are members of Nat community (acrobats) which has people practising multiple faiths.-" SP Shailesh Kumar Pandey also admitted to having received information about the incident saying that matter was being looked into.
However, the SP said the family allegations of police apathy were unfounded. "The family had filed a complaint against four of their relatives. The post-mortem report was inconclusive. Later, they got an FIR filed under IPC's section 302 (murder) through court. Even at this point, the autopsy report is under consideration by a medico-legal expert. Once his report arrives, we will be able to say anything with certainty," the SP said.
Meanwhile, Mulsim clerics and maulanas expressed concern over the incident. They exhorted the community to take the matter seriously. -"The situation is alarming and Muslim organisations should note it," said Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangimahali, member, All India Muslim Personal Law Board.