Thirteen members of a Muslim family on Tuesday converted to Hinduism in Baghpat with the help from a little-known rightwing group — Yuva Hindu Vahini-Bharat. The reason behind their decision to convert, they claimed, was the lack of support from their community after the “murder” of a family member. The police claimed it to be a suicide. They said that they now expect “justice from our new community”.
In January, 22-year-old Gulhasan’s family, natives of Badarka village in the district shifted to Navada village in search of better prospects.
“We shifted because several of our relatives lived there, it is Muslim-dominated and because it is closer to Delhi, we expected better fortune,” said Gulhasan’s brother Dilshad (34). “We purchased a house and Gulhasan rented a shop to run a clothing store.”
On July 22, Gulhasan was found dead, hanging from the roof of his store. The family claimed he was killed by business rivals in the village. “We had found injury marks on his body,” said Dilshad.
Gulhasan’s eldest brother Naushad said, “We told police that it (Gulhasan’s death) was a planned murder but they were told us that he committed suicide.” Dilshad said they received no support from the village residents or their relatives there.
“On July 11, our cousin Rajudeen had scuffled with local residents. No FIR was lodged in connection with the scuffle. Since we supported Rajudeen, people in the locality did not like us,” said Dilshad.
They moved a local court seeking an FIR into the death. “Under the court’s direction a murder case was registered against four residents of Navada village on August 28,” said Dinesh Kumar, Kotwali police station station house officer (SHO), adding that no one has been arrested in the case so far. “The autopsy cleared it as suicide. After the FIR was lodged, we sent the autopsy report to medico legal experts in Lucknow for their opinion. After obtaining that, we will proceed further.”
Navada village head Sarwar Rana said Gulhasan’s family was making false allegations. “Gulhasan had a dispute and was upset. That led him to taking his own life. Among the four persons named in the FIR is a cousin.” In August, the family returned to Badarka village.
“Almost ostracised by our community, we decided to come back and also to convert. We will continue to fight for justice,” said Naushad. Dilshad said that they approached the Yuva Hindu Vahini-Bharat a month ago.
“Our father gave in writing that all 20 members of our family of four brothers, their wives and children will convert and adopt new names. My youngest brother’s wife and my elder brother Jakir and his family backed out. But 13 of us, including my parents and brothers’ families, converted,” he said.
Asked if by switching religion, he hoped for “justice” in the case, Dilshad said, “We converted because our community did not support us. By embracing Hinduism we are expecting justice from our
“Our outfit was formed in February in Lucknow and we are taking out programmes in various states for welfare of our Hindu brothers. We also help those who want a ghar wapsi and this was why our activists in Baghpat have helped a Muslim family in conversion,” said Sivraj Singh Chauhan, national president of the Yuva Hindu Vahini-Bharat, which claims Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath as its “prerna stotra (source of inspiration)”.
“The family has given an affidavit that they wanted to convert as per their will. They are not happy with the investigation in the case involving death of a member. The issue will be taken up with the SP (City),” said Baghpat district magistrate Rishirendra Kumar.
SP (City) Shailesh Kumar Pandey said he met the family and assured them a probe if they move a fresh application for the same. “But in any case, we are ready to probe the case and bring the culprits to the book, if they are found guilty,” he said.