The love/grooming jihad menace has acquired epidemic proportions all over the country and several States like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Gujarat have brought stringent anti-conversion laws to curb this and other methods of forced conversions deployed by Abrahamic fanatics. But in ‘ultra-secular’ West Bengal, there is no hope on the horizon and even the state machinery is now preying on ordinary Hindus.
On March 15, session court at Alipore granted bail to policeman Haider Ali who was booked under the charges of rape and fraud. Haider posed as Prince to trap a Hindu woman and later exploited her sexually and financially, reports journalist Subhi Vishwakarma in Organiser.
It is important to note that the court’s order didn’t once mention that the accused hid his identity to trap the Hindu woman. But the victim and local activists like Devdutta Maji who assisted her in fighting this case say that it is a clear case of Love Jihad.
As Subhi Vishwakarma notes, had it been a state with stringent anti-conversion and anti-Love Jihad laws, the accused would have still been in jail, and not roaming free on bail, threatening the victim through his associates to withdraw the case.
An FIR (number–189/2022) was registered in the case at Bansdroni police station of the South 24 Parganas district on October 11, 2022. According to the victim Gargi Ghosh (26), the accused Haider Ali forged his identity to lure her into love jihad, and later sexually and financially exploited her. Ali is currently deployed at the Rapid Action Force (RAF), Barasat, North 24 Parganas district.
Gargi has stated in her complaint that she lives in Subodh Park area, and met Haider Ali via social media, where he introduced himself as Prince. She was already in an emotionally vulnerable state at the time, having lost both her adoptive parents recently in quick succession. In January 2022, Haider sent her a friend request on Facebook, the name of the ID was Prince. After she accepted his friend request they started talking to each other.
Haider told her that he was Prince Sarkar, a Bengali living in Krishnanagar. Gradually they started talking to each other via both voice and video calling.
After a few meetings, Haider started visiting her flat frequently. He would intentionally come to her place when she was alone, so that he gets an opportunity to get physical with her but she didn’t agree saying she doesn’t want any physical relationship before marriage. He used to keep insisting and persuading her for the same, and used to say that he believes ‘they are in love and marriage is just a formality’.
In March 2022, Gargi got to known about his true identity and that he was a resident of Rampurhat, Birbhum district. She confronted him and said that she would have never accepted him if she would have knowledge about his true identity. However, Haider did emotional theatrics and she forgave him and decided to give him another chance.
Haider assured her that he will marry her soon, but in April 2022, she got news that Haider’s mother has fixed his engagement with a woman named Shabnam. When she confronted him, he said that he will break the said engagement and convince his family about their relationship.
After few days, Haider visited her flat and forced himself upon her. From that day onwards he used to sexually exploit her every now and then on pretext of marrying her.
In July 2022, Haider’s mother came to her place, on the pretext of availing medical treatment. He asked the victim to use this opportunity to ‘please his mother’. Haider’s mother Selima Begum stayed in her house from August 6 to August 20. His mother had a problem with Gargi following Hindu customs and the fact that she would also consume non-Halal meat. She would tell Gargi about Islam, importance of offering namaz 5 times a day and wearing hijab.
After her mother left, Haider informed Gargi that his mother did not like her at all and that she asked him to break all relations with her.
Haider on the other hand, had started making demand for money by then. He used to threaten her that if she wont pay the money, he will start sleeping with all his ex-girlfriends.
Gargi also stated that Haider was a porn addict, and he used to send her porn videos and tried recreating the same at home. He also sent her his naked pictures. Once he threatened her saying, he has clicked her nude pictures and can make them viral on the internet if she dare register a complaint against him.
In September 2022, he asked for one lakh rupees saying he wants to invest the money in share market. As this was not an emergency requirement, Gargi refused to give him any money, to which he again started emotionally blackmailing her. She finally gave him sixty thousand rupees. After this he asked her to pay another five thousand, but when she got angry, he returned her money and burnt all the gifts she had given to him to date. It was then she realized that he was just using her.
She decided to call up Haider’s fiance Shabnam and Shabnam’s father Yusuf Ali. When Haider found out about this, he threatened to murder Gargi, chop her into pieces and bury those in the ground. He blocked her on all platforms and left her. When Gargi went to his house to complain about his fraud and abuse, they in turn threatened her with dire consqeunces.
Gargi then raised the matter with his local Gram Panchayat members to get support. They called Haider for a meeting, but he never turned up, instead telling the locals that Gargi is a ‘characterless women who is doing all of this to defame him’. He claimed they only talk over the phone and have never met in person, nor did he make any physical relation with her.
Later, the Panchayat head, a Muslim, also issued death threats against her, asking her to drop the matter. Haider and his family live in an all-Muslim village, as per Gargi. She also received threat calls from other villagers.
It was then she approached the police. As per the FIR, the accused was booked under IPC sections 376 (rape), 417 (cheating) and 506 (criminal intimidation). The police arrested the accused on February 2023, and recorded victim’s statement under section 164 of the CrPC.
On March 15, the bench of the session judge at the south–24 Parganas, Alipore issued an order (number–2) for the case (number–977/2023). Astonishingly, the bench of Justice Jayant Kole ignore the fraud and criminal intimidation involved in this case, observing that at the time when the accused and the complainant had a physical relationship they were both major and went into a relationship ‘out of their own free will’. Now that the relationship is ‘not working’, the complainant has filed a case against the accused. ‘There is no grounds for IPC section 376 (2)(n) (repeated rape)’ said the judge. The court granted the accused bail against a security amount of ten thousand rupees only. So after just about a month in jail, Haider Ali was out of jail.
Notably, there is no mention of the fact in the court order that the accused first introduced himself as a Hindu Bengali man named Prince Sarkar. He trapped Gargi using fake identity and later exploited her, and when confronted by the victim he threatened to kill her.
Gargi’s lawyer also informed the bench about the repeated threats that the victim is facing from the accused and his family since she lodged the case, because of which she would be unsafe if the accused were free. Still, the court granted him bail.
To date, Gargi is getting death threats from the accused and family. It was then that SinghaBahini volunteers came to her aid. Devdutta Maji, the president of Singha Bahini said that victim informed them that she is receiving death threats from the accused and now that he is out on bail she is even more scared. Maji added they will make sure the woman gets justice and remains safe.
It is very risky to appoint such people in the police force or army. Because of this reason, Israel has kept off Palestinians (those who are Israel’s citizens) from inducting into the army and security forces.