The police in Uttar Pradesh’s Mau district on Friday said that they have booked 14 people under the new anti-conversion law, PTI reported.
The police said they booked 38-year-old Shabab Khan alias Rahul and 13 others under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance. Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel had on November 28 given her assent to the anti-conversion ordinance.
Assistant Superintendent of Police Tribhuvan Nath Tripathi said a first information report was filed on the basis of a complaint by a resident of Molnaganj village. The complainant alleged that Khan had abducted his 27-year-old daughter with the help of the other accused on her wedding eve on November 30. The police said Khan, who was already married, kidnapped the woman with the intent to change her religion.
The Uttar Pradesh Police had on Wednesday made their first arrest under the new legislation that targets “love jihad” – a conspiracy theory used by right-wing groups who accuse Muslim men of using marriage as a lure to force Hindu women to convert to Islam. The accused, identified as Owais Ahmad, was produced before Magistrate Priyanka Anjor in Baheri town on Wednesday evening.
A person found guilty under the new law can be punished with an imprisonment from one to five years and a fine of up to Rs 15, 000. For conversions of minors and women of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes community, there will be a jail term of two to 10 years with a Rs 25,000 penalty.
Apart from Uttar Pradesh, four other BJP-ruled states have also decided to introduce laws aimed at preventing inter-faith marriage. In February, the Centre told the Lok Sabha that no “case of ‘love jihad’ has been reported by any of the central agencies”. Investigations by the National Investigation Agency and the Karnataka Criminal Investigation Department have turned up no evidence for this alleged conspiracy either. The National Commission for Women maintains no data about “love jihad” too.