Man Held Under Anti-Conversion Law in Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur

The police said that the accused, Mohammad Saeed, had hidden his identity and told the woman that he is Sunil Kumar.

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On Saturday, 19 December, a man was arrested for allegedly coercing a 45-year-old woman into changing her religion for marriage in Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur, police said, PTI reported.

The accused, identified as one Mohammad Saeed, was arrested under the state’s new anti-conversion law. The officials further said that he had hidden his identity and told the woman that he is Sunil Kumar.

The PTI report mentioned that he allegedly sexually exploited the woman and also forced her to change her religion on 10 December. Additional Superintendent of Police (City) Sanjay Kumar said that when the 45-year-old woman refused to do so, “he forced her to sign a marriage contract.”

Police further said that Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Rajesh Awasthi, along with the woman, lodged a complaint against 12 persons, which also include the qazi who solemnised the wedding.

A case was filed on Friday and the additional SP said that Saeed’s arrest on Saturday was the first one in the district under the new law.

“The accused raped the woman at gun-point, and then clicked her photos. He also threatened to make the photos viral on social media. Later, Saeed’s family members also came here and started staying,” he added.

While speaking to the media, the woman alleged, “He started talking to me over phone and with increasing closeness, he started threatening me. He made videos of me and started asking for money. He asked me to transfer my land and house in his name. He physically and mentally abused me. He also threatened me with acid attack,” an Indian Express report mentioned.

The FIR was registered against Saeed and his family members under the following sections of the IPC: 147 (rioting), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 384 (extortion), 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation), and sections of the anti-conversion law.

The woman has been sent for medical examination and police is making efforts to arrest the other accused persons.

(With inputs from PTI, The Indian Express)

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