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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Woman questioned in ‘conversion’ case moves Delhi HC

The woman, who has done her Masters in Biophysics, approached the HC seeking a direction to the SHO Jamia Nagar to stop harassing her and asking her to come to the police station.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: August 13, 2021 7:03:27 am
Delhi High Court: Centre not filing reply to plea on reopening Nizamuddin MarkazSenior Advocate Sanjoy Ghose represented the petitioners in the case filed through advocate Kartik Yadav.

THE DELHI High Court has directed the Delhi Police to provide phone numbers of beat staff and SHOs of Jamia Nagar and Shaheen Bagh police stations to a 28-year-old woman, who converted to Islam in 2018 and was questioned over phone in June by Uttar Pradesh’s Anti-Terrorism Squad in a case alleging illegal conversions, to enable her to contact them in case of an emergency.

The woman, who has done her Masters in Biophysics, approached the HC seeking a direction to the SHO Jamia Nagar to stop harassing her and asking her to come to the police station.

Delhi Police told the court that “no action is being taken” by the police station against her. However, it also informed the court that a request has been received from ATS, UP, to provide necessary assistance for an investigation.

Seeking a status report regarding this from the Delhi Police, the court listed the case for hearing on August 26. The woman said she is apprehensive of being arrested, and told the court that she does not wish to give her address to the police.

“In the absence of the address being given by the petitioner, it would not be possible for the respondents to provide protection to the petitioner through beat staff and division officer. However, the phone numbers of beat staff and SHOs concerned, P.S. Jamia Nagar and P.S. Shaheen Bagh, be provided to the learned counsel for the petitioner who would convey it to the petitioner. In case of emergency, the petitioner may contact the beat staff and SHOs concerned,” said Justice Mukta Gupta in an order.

The woman, in the petition filed through advocate Wajeeh Shafiq, told the court that she formally converted in Delhi “with the help and guidance of Mufti Qazi Jahangir Alam and Maulana Umar Gautam without any pressure, coercion, threat, inducement or under influence from any side”. Both Alam and Gautam were arrested by the UP ATS in June from Delhi.

On June 19, the woman said in the petition, she received a call from her father who told her the UP ATS and certain self-styled vigilante groups were “pressuring” him to call her from Delhi and to get her to convert back to Hinduism. The petition says she was also extensively questioned by UP ATS over the phone on June 27.

Regarding the alleged actions of Delhi Police, the woman said her neighbour was allegedly picked up by Jamia Nagar police on July 7 and was asked to convey to her to produce herself at the police station. Her other neighbour was also told the same, as per the petition. The staff at the Biophysics department of Jamia Millia Islamia also received calls asking about her.

“On the other hand, several unknown persons are frequenting the petitioner’s locality asking people about her. The petitioner fears danger to her life and limb and… also fears that attempts are being made to pressure her to revert to Hinduism,” reads the petition.

The woman had in June 2019 received an offer for admission in a PhD program in Science from a Taiwan University and a scholarship to study the doctoral degree till July 2022.

She also travelled to Taiwan on September 4, 2019, and returned on February 7, 2020, to India for her elder sister’s wedding. However, she could not go back due to Covid-19 related restrictions and is currently preparing for a competitive exam in Delhi.

While her father has been financially supporting her, the plea states she also is giving tuition to students in Delhi.

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