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Man held under Gujarat Freedom of Religious Act for ‘kidnap, rape’ of woman

The Act provides harsh penal action for forced religious conversion through marriage. The man had been sent to police remand till June 25.

By: Express News Service | Surat |
Updated: June 22, 2021 2:28:50 am
The accused, who runs a mobile phone shop in Daman, is known to the woman and her family.

A 23-year-old married man has been booked under the newly amended Gujarat Freedom of Religious Act 2021 by Valsad police for allegedly kidnapping and raping a 19-year-old woman. This is the second case registered under the Act after it came into force on June 15.

The Act provides harsh penal action for forced religious conversion through marriage. The man had been sent to police remand till June 25.

As per the complaint lodged by the woman, police booked him under Indian Penal Code section 366 for kidnapping, 376(2)(n) for committing rape repeatedly and 506(2) for criminal intimidation, as well as section 4 of the newly amended Gujarat Freedom of Religious Act 2021.

The accused, who runs a mobile phone shop in Daman, is known to the woman and her family.

On June 10, the woman left home for some work and didn’t return. Her mother searched for her but in vain. She then contacted Valsad police station and lodged a missing complaint, suspecting the involvement of the youth.

When a police team reached the man’s mobile phone shop, they found it shut. His family also couldn’t provide any details about his whereabouts.

On the basis of technical surveillance, the team then traced his location in Indore city of Madhya Pradesh where they detained him with the help of local police. He wasa brought back to Valsad on Sunday evening and the woman was handed over to her family.

The woman then lodged a complaint against the man, alleging that he raped her multiple times while they were in Indore. On Monday, the accused was produced before the district court.

Valsad police inspector BJ Sarwaiya said, “Medical examination was done ono both of them. The accused got married in January 2021. The woman said in her complaint that he used to threaten to kill her brother if she did not keep a relationship with him. On June 10, he forced her to go to Indore. They first reached Ajmer in Rajasthan and stayed there for a couple of days. From there he took her to Indore. The accused also took her to a religious priest and tied a taweez around her neck. We are trying to find out whether they got married.”

The first case under the new law was booked in Vadodara on June 18.

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