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Thursday, August 05, 2021

Gujarat: First case under amended Freedom of Religion Act lodged, six detained

The accused in the case also include Samir Qureshi's father Abdul Qureshi, mother Farida, and sister Rukshar as well as an uncle named Altaf Chauhan and another accused named Maher Mallik, the Vadodara police said.

By: Express News Service | Vadodara |
Updated: June 18, 2021 10:26:54 pm
The accused in the case also include Samir Qureshi's father Abdul Qureshi, mother Farida, and sister Rukshar as well as an uncle named Altaf Chauhan and another accused named Maher Mallik, the Vadodara police said.

Vadodara city police Friday registered the first case under the amended Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Act, 2021 and detained six persons, including five from a family, in connection with the case. The Act, which came into force from June 15, provides harsh penal action for forced religious conversion through marriage.

In a complaint filed at a police station in Vadodara, on Friday a 24-year-old woman has alleged that she met a person in 2018 through a social networking site, where the accused used a fake identity and lured her into a relationship by promising her a “modern life” after marriage. Later, he raped her on four occasions at a hotel as well as in the flat of a co-accused, police said. The 26-year-old accused allegedly used intimate photos of the woman to blackmail her to marry him in a “nikah ceremony” and convert to Islam.

The Vadodara police has booked the man along with his parents, sister, uncle as well as another man who facilitated the alleged sexual assaults against the complainant. The accused will be arrested after getting their Covid-19 tests done.

“He blackmailed the victim that he would make public her nude pictures that he had filmed during the act and forced her to give in to his advances on multiple occasions. During that time, the victim discovered that she was about eight weeks pregnant and the accused forced her to consume abortion pills. The victim had a second pregnancy that was aborted at the clinic of a doctor at 21 weeks gestation, against the will of the victim” the police FIR says.

Later, the man, who is a mutton shop owner, dragged the woman to a religious place and and forced her to marry him through a nikah ceremony, forcing her to embrace Islam and change her name, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone 2, Jayrajsinh Vala said on Friday.

The victim, who belongs to a Scheduled Caste, also alleged that accused and his family hurled casteist abuses at her when she refused to follow Islam.

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“Recently, the man decided to marry another woman to marry and began torturing the victim to leave him, she alleged. The accused repeatedly threatened to kill the family of the victim if she did not follow their orders regarding compliance with religious rituals of the man’s family,” the inspector of the police station concerned said.

Besides being booked under Section 4 of the Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Bill, 2021 for forcing conversion by luring and cheating into marriage, the accused were charged under IPC sections 498A for domestic violence, rape of a woman multiple times [376(2)(n)], unnatural sex (377), voluntarily causing a woman with a child to miscarry against her will (312, 313), intentional provoking to break public peace (504), criminal intimidation [506(2)], criminal conspiracy [120(b)], as well as various sections of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities ) Act,1989.

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