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Friday, June 2, 2023

MP: Asad aka Ashu held under new anti-conversion law for stalking girl to change faith and marry him

Madhya Pradesh Police has filed the second case under the state’s new anti-conversion law based on a complaint by a 24-year-old Hindu girl, an engineering student, in Bhopal on Wednesday.

As per a New Indian Express report,

“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.

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..

The girl subsequently reported the matter at Ashoka Garden police station.

“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 report adds that 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 that case is 25-year-old truck driver and part-time DJ player, Sohail Mansoori alias Sunny, who is a married man with one child.

Mansoori met the woman while playing DJ music four years back at a wedding function.  He told the woman that he was from her community to start a relationship. After sexually exploiting her for a long time, he started forcing her to marry him and convert to his faith. When the woman refused, he physically assaulted her.

Mansoori was arrested and has been charged under Section 376 (rape) 294, 323 (assault), 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC, and also under the provisions of the new anti-conversion law.

The MP Dharma Swatantreya Adhyadesh (Freedom of Religion Ordinance) 2020 provides freedom of religion by prohibiting conversion from one religion to another by misrepresentation, allurement, use of threat or force, undue influence, coercion, marriage or any fraudulent means. Under the new law, forced conversion of a minor, woman, or person from SC/ST would lead to a punishment ranging between two and ten years and a minimum penalty of Rs 50,000.

The law in MP was introduced after a similar ordinance introduced in UP.

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