BAGHPAT, UTTAR PRADESH — Day after a Muslim family of the Jogi community allegedly converted to Hinduism with the support of a local Hindutva outfit to “secure justice” for the death of their son, a fact-finding of a Muslim organization tried to reach the family to know the truth but they couldn’t because both the local Police and members of the Hindutva outfit were camping at the home of the family.
The alleged conversion, felicitated by a little-known outfit Yuva Hindu Vahini-Bharat, took place at the Badarkha village of Baghpat district on Tuesday.
Despite registration a case of murder, the death of his son being shown as suicide and no arrest so far by the police, said a Muslim man Akhtar Ali who along with 12 members of his family allegedly converted to Hinduism. After changing their religion, the family said they are now expecting that police may “properly investigate” the matter and they will get “justice for our new community”.
“My name was Akhtar Ali, I have changed my religion because the police did not investigate our case in a fair manner, even the Muslim community did not stand in our support. In Modi’s India, Muslims not treated fairly. I demand justice.” Dharam Singh (new name) told ANI.
Dharam Singh, member of the family says, "My name was Akhtar Ali, I have changed my religion because the police did not investigate our case in a fair manner, even the Muslim community did not stand in our support. In Modi's India, Muslims not treated fairly. I demand justice." pic.twitter.com/MYN4VzzYYI
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) October 3, 2018
Akhtar told media that he felt the change might impact police to “properly investigate his son’s murder”.
Claiming voluntary conversion, the family also submitted an affidavit to the sub-divisional magistrate. Baghpat District Magistrate Rishirendra Kumar also confirmed that the family members said they had changed their religion because they were not satisfied with the police probe into the death of Akhtar’s son Gulhasan.
The family changed their religion with the help of a local right-wing group — Yuva Hindu Vahini-Bharat (YHV-B) by performing formal Hindu ritual a ‘hawan’ in the presence of YHV-B members in a local temple.
Gulhasan was found hanging from the roof of his rented cloths shop on July 22 this year in Navada village where he had shifted in January this year. The family claimed that he was killed by business rivals in the village and they did not receive any support from the locals or their relatives.We told police that it (Gulhasan’s death) was a planned murder but they told us that he committed suicide,” Gulhasan’s eldest brother Naushad quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
Gulhasan’s another brother Dilshad said, “We converted because our community did not support us. By embracing Hinduism we are expecting justice from our new community.”
Dinesh Kumar, Kotwali police station SHO (station house officer) told that family had moved a local court seeking an FIR into the death.
“Under the court’s direction a murder case was registered against four residents of Navada village on 28th August,” he said adding that police have not arrested anyone because they have not received medico legal opinion over the autopsy report.
“The autopsy cleared it as suicide. After the FIR was lodged, we sent the autopsy report to medico legal experts in Lucknow for their opinion. After obtaining that, we will proceed further,” he said.
Independent Fact-Finding Team Returns Empty-Handed
A team from a prominent Muslim organization tried to reach the family of Akhtar on Wednesday to get first-hand information about the issue but they could not reach the village as both the police and members of Hindutva outfit were camping there in large number, said a member of the team on the condition of anonymity.
However, the team talked to some people in the neighbouring areas to know about the family. The team came to know that the family that has allegedly converted to Hinduism comes from the Jogi community. The community is almost illiterate. In the past, male members of the community would generally wear saffron dress, hold a violin and visit door to door reciting folk songs to earn a living.
The member of the fact-finding team also claimed that the affected family might have been induced for conversion.