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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Grooming jihad: Aash Mohammad lures girl to elope three days prior to her marriage

A case of grooming jihad has been reported from Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh. A Muslim man Aash Mohammad s/o Salahuddin has lured a Hindu girl to elope, just three days before her marriage. Her family now fears that the accused has converted their daughter to Islam and married her. Police has lodged a case under UP’s new anti-conversion law. 

The girl belongs to Hasrauli village and the accused man is from a neighbouring village. When asked about his son’s whereabouts, Salahuddin threatened the girl’s relatives. They then approached the police to register a case. The girl’s mother is desperate for her daughter to return as she fears the Mohammad might have brainwashed her to convert to Islam and marry him. 

SP Dehat Tribhuvan Singh said that two people have been detained for interrogation. He added that a police team has been deployed to search for the couple and that they will be found soon. Since the enactment of the anti-conversion law in UP, 86 grooming jihad cases have been filed to date, reports Dainik Bhaskar. Investigations are underway at various police stations spread across many districts.

After UP and MP, Gujarat has become the latest state to enforce a law to prevent grooming jihad activities. It has amended the existing Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act, 2003 to make forcible religious conversion by marriage, or conversions done through fraud, coercion or allurement punishable offenses.  Any marriage done only with a purpose of religious conversion or vice versa can be declared null and void by the court.

The law also penalizes organizations involved in offering a “better lifestyle, divine blessings or otherwise” for conversion. The crimes are cognizable (arrest without warrant) and non-bailable with punishments ranging from 3 to 10 years imprisonment and fine upto Rs. 5 lakhs.

This new law and speedy police action are much needed to rescue victims and create a deterrent. But at the same time, Hindu parents and communities need to do much more to impart Dharmic teachings and values to children, teach them how Hindu Dharma is unique and different from other religions, and inoculate them against harmful effects of mass media.

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