A man in Chhattisgarh’s Jashpur filed a police complaint against his wife and in-laws for allegedly converting his minor son to Islam without his consent.
The Hindu man, Chittranjaan Soni, married a Muslim woman, Reshma Ansari, nearly 10 years ago. Chittaranjan is a resident of gram panchayat Sanna in the Jashpur district.
The duo has two children, an eight-year-old son, Sourabh, and a six-year-old daughter. A case was registered at the Sanna police station.
The accused have been booked under sections 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and provisions of Chhattisgarh Freedom of Religion Act.
The police said that further investigation is underway.
“My wife took my elder son to his maternal village in November 2020 and carried out 'Sunnat' in Ambikapur with the help of her parents which I got to know later," Chittranjaan told the police.
The man alleged that they converted the child to Islam and tried to force him to convert too.
"My wife and her parents circumcised my boy and I have a problem with this. He is eight years old. I was also promised a pick-up vehicle if I converted to Islam but I don't want to change my religion," Chittaranjan Sonwani, father of the child alleged.
Devdhan Nayak, Harijan Community's state head said that tampering with any child's reproductive organs without his consent is against child protection. This demands strict and fair investigation.
"My grandmother (maternal) and grandfather (maternal) took me for Sunnat. My name was Sourabh, now it is Shamshad," the eight-year-old child said.
"The police filed an FIR after people protested in large number to protect the religion. Many did not eat or drink water during the protest," Ganesh Ram Bhagat, a former Cabinet minister of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Chhattisgarh, said.
"This is how religion should be protected," he added.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has also taken cognisance of the matter and written to Jashpur collector regarding the same.