A woman alleged in Ranchi on Thursday evening that her husband assaulted her with the intention of extorting money and tried to force her into converting her religion.
Jaya Bhandari, accompanied by BJP leaders, lodged a complaint against Danish Anwar at the Ladies’ Police Station in Ranchi city. “He used to beat me, inject me with various medicines and once, even stripped me, forced me to take bath in cold water and made me stand before a cooler,” said Bhandari to news channels.
This is the second time in under five months that a Ranchi resident has alleged that her husband tried to forcibly convert her. Tara Shahdeo (23) had alleged that her husband Ranjeet Singh Kohli had performed a “nikaah” without her permission; Kohli, who also uses the name Rakibul Hasan Khan, is currently in jail and has been charged with assault and fraud.
When asked why her husband had assaulted her, Bhandari said, “He always wanted money.” On being asked whether her husband had tried to force her to convert her to Islam, she said, “Yes, that was also there. He began to call me Zoya.”
Bhandari, who has a seven-year-old daughter from a divorced marriage that took place in 2006, is a receptionist at a city hotel. She lives in the Kishoreganj area of the city, where coincidentally Shahdeo’s family also lives. She met Anwar, a marketing executive who lives in the Lowadih area, at a business hotel in the city where they briefly worked together. The relationship developed over Facebook. The couple married a year back at a temple in Ranchi – Ahmad’s parents did not attend; Bhandari’s parents have passed away.
BJP leader Sanjay Seth, who had accompanied Bhandari to the police station on Thursday, said that her employer had contacted him: “A few months after the temple wedding, he forced her into a nikaah ceremony. Then, he began assaulting her demanding a dowry of five lakh rupees.” He added that the couple along with the child lived in a house separate from Anwar’s parents’.
Ranchi’s Superintendent of Police (City) Anup Birthare said that he had reviewed Bhandari’s complaint. “It does not say the nikaah was performed; just that she was being pressured to undergo one. We will investigate the matter,” said the SP.