4 booked for raping minor after failed conversion bid: Police
Four men allegedly gang-raped a 15-year-old girl after she refused to convert to Islam to marry one of them, police said. All have been booked under various sections of Pocso (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act and Indian Penal Code and MP Freedom of Religion Act, and the main perpetrator has been arrested, they added.
Ujjain’s additional superintendent of police Amrendra Singh said the incident occurred in Malegaon, Maharashtra, where the girl had gone to work as a labourer. “In Malegaon, she met Majid Khan, 23, who introduced himself as Mohit. Khan raped the girl on the pretext of marriage and later tried to get her to change her religion last October. The girl refused to do so, and Majid and three of friends gang-raped her ,” Singh added.
The girl came to live with her sister in Ujjain and the family didn’t go to the police. But in April this year, she complained of stomach pain and had to be admitted to a hospital. It was found that she was pregnant. “She had a premature delivery in the hospital, but the baby died. It was then that the girl shared her ordeal with another woman in the hospital, who then informed a Hindu organisation and the police about it,” ASP Singh said.
The state police sought the cooperation of the Maharashtra Police. With the help of the girl, Khan was called to Ujjain last week and arrested and handed over to the Malegaon police.
On Tuesday, a joint team of Malegaon and Ujjain police exhumed the body of the infant for a DNA test.
Ujjain superintendent of police Satendra Shukla said, “We are also taking legal opinion about registering a case in the girl’s home district of Barwani in Madhya Pradesh as the MP Freedom of Religion Act will not be applicable in Maharashtra.”
MP Freedom of Religion Act is a controversial new law passed by the state in March this year that penalises forced conversions with jail terms of up to 10 years and a minimum fine of ₹50,000.