19-yr-old Muslim man booked under UP ‘love jihad’ law in Bijnor
MEERUT The police registered a case under the new UP Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance 2020, commonly known as the love jihad law, and other provisions of the Indian Penal Code at Dhampur police station in Bijnor district of western Uttar Pradesh and arrested a 19-year-old Muslim man on Wednesday on charges of enticing a minor girl, allegedly by concealing his original identity and attempting to coerce her into conversion.
Arun Kumar Tyagi, the station house officer of Dhampur police station, said the 14-year-old girl belonged to a scheduled caste. He added that a case has been registered against 19-year-old Mohd Saqib alias Sonu under Sections 363 (punishment for kidnapping), 366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing a woman to compel her marriage) of the Indian Penal Code, provisions of Pocso (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the new ordinance against forced and dishonest religious conversion.
Under the new law, the charges, if proved, could mean imprisonment of up to punished with imprisonment of 10 years with a fine of not less than Rs 25,000.
The accused and the girl are from villages in the Dhampur area of Bijnor district. Tyagi claimed that Saqib enticed the girl by representing himself as Sonu. He also claimed that the couple was in a relationship for over a year and eloped on the night of December 14.
They reached the town of Nahtaur where they were apprehended by the police who also informed the Dhampur police.
Tyagi said he approached the girl’s family at her village in Dhampur, that they admitted the girl eloped on December 14, and that they did not report the matter to the police to avoid embarrassment.
Tyagi also said that during interrogation, the minor girl alleged that the man had initially hidden his identity, introduced himself as Sonu, and , subsequently, tried to coerce her into conversion and marriage.
The girl was sent for medical examination and the accused, Saqib, to jail, he said.