Uttarakhand: US Nagar police book five under anti-conversion law - Hindustan Times
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Uttarakhand: US Nagar police book five under anti-conversion law

Apr 08, 2023 01:24 PM IST

Manjunath TC, senior superintendent of police (SSP), US Nagar said, “A woman had approached Bazpur police station on Thursday and lodged a complaint under Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act-2018 against her husband and relatives”

The Uddham Singh Nagar police have booked five people under the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act 2018 based on the complaint filed by a woman against her husband and relatives.

Uttarakhand: US Nagar police book five under anti-conversion law
Uttarakhand: US Nagar police book five under anti-conversion law

The Uttarakhand Freedom Of Religion Act was passed in April 2018 making “forced or fraudulent conversions done through force or allurement” non-bailable offences with a provision of imprisonment for up to five years.

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Manjunath TC, senior superintendent of police (SSP), US Nagar said, “A woman had approached Bazpur police station on Thursday and lodged a complaint under Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act-2018 against her husband and relatives.”

Police have started an investigation against the complainant’s husband and four other family members, the SSP said.

According to police, the woman, 25, belonging to the Ramnagar area of Nainital, approached Bazpur police station on Thursday got the complaint registered against her husband and in-laws

According to her complaint, in 2018, she met a man who introduced himself as Samar of Bazpur and got married to him. However, on the day of their marriage, she learnt that he is Muslim and his real name is Liyaqat Ali, a resident of Moradabad district in Uttar Pradesh.

She mentioned in her complaint that the man and his family assured her that she would be free to follow her Hindu religion and they never force her to embrace Islam after marriage. However, in 2022, after she gave birth to a baby girl, her husband began harassing her to embrace Islam. In March this year, Samar alias Ali and his family forced her not only to observe Roza (fasting in the month of Ramadan) and perform namaz but also to eat beef.

“On her complaint, police lodged an FIR (first information report) against Samar alias Liyaqut Ali, his father Niyad Ali, mother Khairul Nisha, brother Imtyaz Ali and his wife Haseena under the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act-2018 and IPC (Indian Penal Code) sections 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 498A (harassment of the woman), 504(intentional insult) and 506 (criminal intimation)”, the SSP said.

The Uttarakhand cabinet chaired by chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on November 16, 2022, passed the “Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Bill, 2022” to strengthen the anti-conversion law in the state.

In December last year, the Bill was approved by the Uttarakhand governor, making unlawful conversions a cognizable and non-bailable offence in the state that is punishable with a prison term of up to 10 years.

In the new law, a fine of 50,000 has been made compulsory. Anyone found guilty of conversion will have to pay up to 5 lakh to the victim.

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