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Monday, May 20, 2024

Belagavi, KA: Islamist Rafik Befari coerces, sexually assaults married Hindu woman, attempts forced conversion

In a disturbing incident that has sent shockwaves through Karnataka, a 28-year-old married woman from Belagavi has come forward with harrowing allegations of coercion, sexual assault, and forced conversion at the hands of a couple. The victim, whose identity remains protected, recounted her ordeal, alleging that she was raped by an Islamist man identified as Rafik in the presence of his wife, who subsequently manipulated and blackmailed her into converting to Islam. Based on the reports from India Today, these appalling events unfolded in the town of Munavalli, Savadatti taluk, Belagavi district, where the victim and her husband operate a provision shop.

Manipulative tactics and targeted coercion against Hindus

According to the victim’s statement to the authorities, Rafik, along with his wife, approached her during her husband’s absence from the shop, establishing a seemingly friendly rapport that later turned sinister. Allegedly, Rafik coerced the woman into a physical relationship and then used explicit photographs of her to blackmail her into compliance. Further compounding the victim’s trauma, with the assistance of another individual named Adil, Rafik purportedly confined her at Swadhar Kendra in Shahu Nagar, Belagavi, for approximately four months before relocating her to a rented house in Basav Colony, Belagavi. Throughout this ordeal, the victim claims she was subjected to torture and relentless pressure to renounce her Hindu faith and convert to Islam, with the threat of further harm looming over her if she resisted.

Manipulation, assault, and blackmail: the horrors of forced Islamization

The Islamist perpetrator forced and blackmailed her to wear a burkha, perform Namaz, and even remove sindoor from her forehead. The Islamists coerced her to abandon Hindu Dharma in favor of Islam, using blackmail tactics by leveraging pictures of physical assault. Fearing the repercussions, she succumbed to wearing a burkha as a result of his manipulation.

In response to the woman’s grievous allegations, the authorities have taken swift action. An FIR has been lodged against seven individuals, including Rafik and his accomplices, under various sections of the law, encompassing the Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Act, relevant IT laws, the SC/ST Act, and the Indian Penal Code. Charges include rape, kidnapping, wrongful confinement, criminal intimidation, and coercion. Additionally, two individuals, including the main accused, Rafik, along with his wife, have been apprehended by the police.

As the investigation unfolds, attention is drawn to the insidious tactics employed by Islamist individuals seeking to manipulate and coerce vulnerable individuals, particularly Hindu women, into conversion through blackmail and intimidation. For years, Islamist predators have employed a systematic approach to religious conversion and persecution against Hindus, beginning with manipulative tactics before resorting to physical assault and blackmail. This insidious pattern involves coercing individuals into adopting Islamism through fear and intimidation. Despite efforts by Hindu organizations to raise awareness about the vulnerability and severity of this issue, Hindu women continue to fall prey to these tactics. The alarming trend of such incidents is now spreading to Karnataka, with an increasing number of cases reported in recent months. The lack of awareness among Hindu women, coupled with the absence of impartial justice under the Congress government in Karnataka, has created a breeding ground for predators to evade accountability.

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