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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

4 held, 5 absconding in conversion case: Bharuch Police

The complaint said that the accused converted over 100 people from 35 tribal Hindu families in Kakariya village since 2006 and also threatened them of dire consequences if they converted back to Hindu religion.

By: Express News Service | Surat |
November 18, 2021 4:34:19 am
Bharuch, religion, religion conversion, Vasava Hindu community, tribals news, tribal community, economic condition, livelihood, Indian Express, India news, current affairs, Indian Express News Service, Express News Service, Express News, Indian Express India NewsDSP of Bharuch SC/ST cell, Madhubhai Bhojani, said, “We have arrested four accused and have taken their statements. (Representational)

Four persons were arrested while five others are absconding in a case of alleged forced conversion of Hindu tribals into Islam, Bharuch police said Wednesday. The arrested have claimed to be tribals who got converted into Islam a few years ago, they added. The complainant, Praveen Vasava, alleged he was converted into Islam by the accused in 2018, and “rechristened” as Salman Vasant Patel.

DSP of Bharuch SC/ST cell, Madhubhai Bhojani, said, “We have arrested four accused and have taken their statements. The case is still under investigation and other accused will be arrested soon.”

On November 15, Amod police registered an offence under the Gujarat Freedom of Religion Bill section 4 and Indian Penal Code sections 120(b), 153 (B) (c), and 506 (2), on a complaint by Praveen Vasava of Kakariya village in Amod taluka of Bharuch district.

The case was filed against Abdul Aziz Patel, Yusuf Jivan Patel, Ayub Barkat Patel, and Ibrahim Punabhai Patel — who claimed to formerly have been Ajit Chhagan Vasava, Mahendra Jivan Vasava, Raman Barkat Vasava and Jitu Punabhai Vasava respectively — all residents of Kakariya village, and five others identified as Shabbir Bakerywala (Amod), Samaj Bakerywala (Amod), Hasan Tisli (Achhod village), Fefdawala Haji Abdulla (Nabipur) and Ismail Achhodwala (Maulvi from Anchod village). Acting on the complaint, Bharuch Special Operations Group on Wednesday arrested four — Abdul Aziz Patel, Yusuf Patel, Ayub Patel, and Ibrahim Patel.

In his complaint, Vasava said that the accused people “lured innocent Hindu tribals of the village with money and in some cases built houses for them and converted them into Islam”. The converted Hindu tribals were later entrusted with the task of converting others from the community, it added.

The complaint said that the accused converted over 100 people from 35 tribal Hindu families in Kakariya village since 2006 and also threatened them of dire consequences if they converted back to Hindu religion.


In the FIR, Vasava stated, “In 2018, Abdul Aziz Patel and a few others contacted me and lured me to become Muslim. They took me to a prayer hall in the village when they recited some verses, which I repeated with them. Later they took me to a Surat hotel and introduced me to one Bilal and took my signature and thumb impression on a document. Bilal later gave me the name Salman Vasant Patel. They also made my Aadhaar card with the new name.”

The complaint added that Abdul Aziz Patel received financial support from Samaj Bakerywala, Samad Bakerywala, Hasan Tisli, London resident Fefdawala Haji Abdulla and others. It also mentioned the names of 15 tribal Hindus of Kakariya village who were converted into Islam that include three accused Yusuf Patel, Ayub Patel, and Ibrahim Patel.

When Vasava opposed such conversion and decided to return back to Hindu religion, Abdul Aziz Patel, Ayub Barkat Patel, and Ibrahim Punabhai Patel, Patel went to his house and threatened him, on October 26, 2021, he said. The trio threatened him, claiming to have “links with people in Kashmir and Pakistan”, the complaint said.

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