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Interfaith couple among nine booked under Haryana’s anti-conversion law

In March, the Haryana Assembly had passed the Haryana Prevention of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Bill, 2022, with the government stating that it was aimed at preventing religious conversions "through force, undue influence or allurement".

Faridabad Police spokesperson Sube Singh said a case was registered against the interfaith couple, the man's brother, his parents, the Qazi who solemnised the marriage, two witnesses and a notary public. (Representational/File)

Faridabad Police have booked nine people, including an interfaith couple, under Haryana’s anti-conversion law. Police said the FIR was registered Friday, making it one of the first such cases in the state.

In March, the Haryana Assembly had passed the Haryana Prevention of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Bill, 2022, with the government stating that it was aimed at preventing religious conversions “through force, undue influence or allurement”. On Thursday, the Cabinet accorded approval for implementing the Haryana Prevention of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act 2022.

In the current case, the father of a 22-year-old Hindu woman had filed a police complaint alleging his daughter had recently married a man from another community and that she had allegedly been forcibly and illegally converted by him and his family.

In the police complaint, the woman’s father alleged, “I am a follower of the Hindu religion. My daughter has been lured by a Muslim man. One year ago, the man, his brother and his parents had come to our house with a marriage proposal for my daughter. I had refused and explained to them that we are Hindus and will not allow her to marry a Muslim. They left saying that our permission was not required.”

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He further alleged, “I explained this to my daughter and she did not say anything at the time. On October 28 at 9.30 am, I dropped her off near a bank where she works, but half an hour later, I got a phone call from her office that she had not reported for work. Her phone was switched off. The same evening, I learnt that she had converted… and married the Muslim man. They also applied for police protection and I got a notice from the district court regarding the same.”

He said he filed a police complaint on November 8.

Speaking to The Indian Express, the father alleged: “My daughter has been forcefully converted. Her conversion and marriage are invalid since the prescribed procedure as per provisions of the Haryana Prevention of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act 2022 has not been followed… All the accused should be arrested and action should be taken as per provision of the law. I do not know where my daughter is. If she is guilty, she should also face action as per the law… a message must go out so that other Hindu daughters are not illegally converted.”

A police officer said, “No arrest has been made. The accused are absconding. The couple had applied for police protection after marriage and protection was granted for three days. Under the law, a person must file an application at the SDM office regarding changing of religion, and a notice period is given for raising objections and notifying the families. The complainant has alleged that due procedure was not followed in this case.”

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Faridabad Police spokesperson Sube Singh said a case was registered against the interfaith couple, the man’s brother, his parents, the Qazi who solemnised the marriage, two witnesses and a notary public.

The FIR has been registered under sections 12 (1) and 12 (5) of The Haryana Prevention of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act 2022, said police, adding that conviction under these provisions carries imprisonment of up to five years and a fine of Rs 2 lakh.

First published on: 05-12-2022 at 05:15 IST
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