The police in Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly district dropped a case against three Muslim men who had been charged under the anti-conversion law for sexually harassing and stalking a 22-year-old woman, after her allegations turned out to be false, The Times of India reported on Sunday.
Bareilly Senior Superintendent of Police Rohit Singh Sajwan told the newspaper that a case will now be filed against the woman under Section 182 of the Indian Penal Code, which pertains to providing false information to the authorities.
The first information report against the accused was filed on Friday under Sections 354 (attempt to outrage the modesty of a woman) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC and the Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance. The FIR was deleted on Saturday.
The woman alleged that one of the accused, a taxi driver named Abrar Khan, stopped her at a crossing in Fareedpur area on December 1 while she was going back home, The Indian Express reported.
The complainant added that the accused tried to pull her down from her scooter and sexually harassed her. She also accused the man of forcing her to convert to Islam and marry her. The woman said that the accused fled with the help of his associates when some residents of the area intervened. The police filed the FIR against Khan, his brother and a friend based on the woman’s complaint.
The police have now said that the three men were not in Bareilly on the day the alleged incident took place. “As per the evidence collected by the police, the allegations levelled against the three men by the woman were wrong,” the Bareilly SSP was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
The police claimed that the woman had been in a relationship with Khan and had run away with him last year, according to The Times of India. She was found over a week later. Her family married her off to another man last month.
Family members of the accused expressed relief over the deletion of the FIR against them.“Our children were being framed in this case,” they said. “We request police to ensure an impartial probe.”