A Dalit woman in Bihar’s Sitamarhi district has alleged that her husband was “forcibly” converted to Islam a fortnight ago, and now she and her teenage daughter were being pressured by him to change their faith — a charge dismissed by the police, who have booked the man and six others only under the SC/ST Act for harassing the complainant.
The Dalits of Rampur Khurd village, however, have resisted the attempts by a few local Muslims to “convert the woman”, who is now not allowing her husband to stay with her.
According to Pupri sub-divisional police officer Motiur Rahman, Yasoda Devi “had been against her husband converting to Islam and did not want to live with him”. The official also asserted the man — Ramkishore Ram who now calls himself Mohammed Abdullah Shekh — “willingly converted” to Islam and that there was no case of “forcible conversion”.
Talking to reporters, Yasoda Devi said that her husband, who had been barely earning Rs 200 per day, around 20 days ago gave her Rs 20,000, saying it was his “accumulated earning”. “I have strong suspicion that my husband was offered the money by someone to convert to Islam. He was converted a fortnight ago and came home wearing kurta, lungi and a skull cap. He calls himself Mohammed Abdullah Shekh now,” she said, alleging that her husband was now forcing her and their teenage daughter to convert.
Rampur Khurd village has mixed population of Hindus and Muslims. The village has a sizeable population of scheduled caste Ravidas to which Yasoda Devi belongs to.
The police official, however, told The Indian Express that it was not a fit case to book the accused under IPC sections of 153 (A) for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and 295 A for deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings. No arrest has been made so far.
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