The police have filed at least a dozen cases under the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020
NEW DELHI — Some three dozen Muslim men have been arrested across Uttar Pradesh in the last one month under the controversial anti-conversion law promulgated on November 27 to curb the so-called ‘love jihad’, an Islamophobic conspiracy theory alleging that Muslim men target women belonging to non-Muslim communities for conversion to Islam by feigning love.
According to media reports, the police have filed at least a dozen cases under the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020, including the latest FIR in a case in Kannauj where a Muslim man faked his identity as a Hindu and went by the name Rahul Verma and married a Hindu woman.
Police cases under the new ordinance have been filed in several districts–Gautam Buddha Nagar, Mau, Bijnor, Hardoi, Sitapur, Muzaffarnagar, Moradabad, Bareilly and Etah, reported the Hindu.
The Moradabad case triggered a major controversy as the woman suffered a miscarriage after allegedly being given injections at the shelter home while her husband was held in jail even as the couple had claimed that they married under ‘nikkah’ out of their free will.
In most cases, the police have acted on the complaints of the family of the woman aided by Hindu vigilante groups like Bajrang Dal, the militant youth wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
The very first case under the new ordinance was registered just a day after its promulgation, in Bareilly against Owais Ahmad. According to the complaint by the father of a Hindu woman, Ahmad was trying to “coax, coerce and lure” her to marry and convert to Islam.
However, Owais’s family refuted the claims saying he had been wrongly held in 2019 when the girl had run away on her own will, and the police had already filed a closure report after she was found.
On Friday, a Muslim teen-ager was arrested after he was seen walking with a Dalit girl in Bijnor. Reportedly, the boy and the girl were beaten by a mob while returning from a party.
The ordinance has been challenged in the Supreme Court of India and the rights activists have also criticised the law as it violates the right of the citizens to personal liberty.