A man identified as Mahfouz has been taken into custody for forcibly converting a widowed Sikh woman and her 2 sons. He is alleged to have trapped the woman by promising to provide shelter to her and the children after her husband’s demise. Mahfouz, however, forced her to convert before marrying her in a nikah ceremony and even forcibly circumcised the children as per Islamic customs.
As per reports, Harjinder Kaur who is a resident of Uttarkhand’s Bajpur lost her truck driver husband Harkesh in a road accident on 8 May. Following this, she shifted to Kaladungi along with her sons Rahul and Sumit. Mahfouz, who is also a truck driver and Harkesh’s friend, approached Harjinder promising to support her and her children and took them along to his village Bairua in UP’s Shahabad.
It has been alleged that five days ago he forced Harjinder to adopt Islam and become Gulista. He even forcibly converted the children to Islam and changed their names. He then married Harjinder in a nikah ceremony and threatened her saying that she and the children would be able to stay in his house only if the kids were circumcised.
As soon as Hindu organizations received information of the forced conversion and circumcisions, they approached the local police who swung into action. They reached the village late Saturday night and took the woman as well as the children into their custody while the accused supposedly fled.
Police got the two children, whose health condition had deteriorated due to the circumcision, admitted to Shahabad Hospital. Saifni Police Station Incharge Pravin Katiyar has issued a statement to the media confirming the arrest of five persons in connection with the case including Mahfouz, his father Anjar, mother Mumtaz, and the imam who performed the circumcision.
The accused have been booked under IPC Sections 3, 5 (1), and 324 while the search for other accused persons is ongoing. CO Milak Shrikant Prajapati said in his media statement that a case against five persons has been registered under relevant sections of the law and that further investigations in the matter are going on.
(Update: The article previously mentioned the woman as a Hindu. Changes have been made in view of reports indicating that the woman belongs to the Sikh community)
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