BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh Police on Wednesday filed the second case under the anti-‘love jihad’ law following the complaint by a 24-year-old engineering student in Bhopal on Wednesday.
“The accused, a 30-year-old mechanic hailing from Aishbag area of Bhopal, has been arrested. He has been booked under IPC Sections 376 (rape), 354 (stalking), 294 (abuses), and 506 (criminal intimidation), besides 3/5 MP Religious Freedom Ordinance 2020,” additional SP (ASP-Bhopal Zone II) Rajesh Bhadoriya told The New Indian Express.
The complainant, who lives in Bhopal but originally hails from the Balaghat district, developed friendship with the accused identified as Asad alias Ashu after she met him while travelling on public transport in November 2019.
The accused posed as Ashu saying that he was a Hindu, and gradually became close to the girl. Both developed physical relations after which Ashu promised to marry the girl.
“In March 2020, the girl accompanied the accused to the adjoining Raisen district where he went to a mosque. This made the girl suspicious about his religious identity. When she pressured the accused, he spilled the beans telling her that he was Asad and not Ashu. Following this, the girl snapped ties with him,” the ASP-Bhopal Zone II said.
Since then the accused was stalking the girl and forcing her to marry him and change her religion. “On January 11, 2021, the girl, along with a female friend, was going somewhere in the Ashoka Garden area, when she was stopped by the accused. The accused verbally abused her and threatened her with dire consequences if she didn’t marry him and change her religion,” Bhadoriya said.
The girl subsequently reported the matter at Ashoka Garden police station.
This is the second case under the new anti-religious conversion law in MP within three days. On January 17, the first case under the new law was registered in the Barwani district on the complaint of a 22-year-old woman. The accused in the case is a 25-year-old truck driver and part-time DJ player. The accused is a married man who already has a child from the existing marriage.
The MP Dharma Swatantreya Adhyadesh (Religious Freedom Ordinance) 2020 had come into force on January 9, 2021. The law entails a punishment of one to 10 years in cases of forced conversion through forced or fraudulent marriage by hiding one’s original religious identity.