5 people have been booked for forcibly converting an orphan into Islam and performing circumcision in Uttar Pradesh. The 9 year old boy was physically assaulted, abused and sold to a Muslim couple who converted him.
The incident came to light after a Twitter user posted a video alleging that a 9 year old orphan was abused and forcibly converted to Islam by the couple who adopted him. Ghaziabad police took cognisance of it and started an investigation. They found that the the boy was sold to a Muslim couple who forcibly circumcised him and handed over him to another Muslim man to make him learn Urdu.
Ghaziabad police filed an FIR after Twitter users tagged them to the video seeking action. Investigation revealed that the boy’s name is Sonu and that he used to live in Rafiganj in Aurangabad, Bihar. His mother Anshu died in a train accident when he was 3 and his father allegedly abandoned him and left the house a few months later.
Then he was taken in by Soni @ Kunni Devi, his mother’s friend and grew up in her house. Sonu used to live in Aurangabad and he was taken to Ghaziabad in 2016 when Soni and her husband Mithilesh Yadav relocated. Police said that he was abused by the couple. On one instance Mithilesh beat up the boy severely when he didn’t like the food the boy had prepared. In the video the boy said that he was beaten almost everyday.
In the meanwhile the couple had reached an agreement with Umar Mohammad and Babli, another couple, through a middleman Zulfikar, to sell the boy. They signed a Rs.50 stamp paper in agreement. Later he was sent with Zulfikar who was tasked with circumcising the boy, teaching him Urdu and converting him to Islam. Police said that the boy escaped the clutches of Zulfikar when he came to Ghaziabad and met Rajesh Kumar, an acquaintance of his late mom.
Rajesh used to live in Aurangabad and knew Sony’s parents and so he posted a video on Twitter about the boy’s ordeal. Mithilesh, Soni, Babli, Umar and Zulfikar have been booked under sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 326 (causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapon), and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and sections 75 (abuse and assault of the child) and 80 (protection from sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2000.
As the boy was circumcised and converted sections 3 and 5 of the Uttar Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 2021 have also been used to book them. Umar, Soni and Babli have been arrested while the other two are still absconding.