Gujarat police have registered the first case under the Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Act 2021. The Act, which came into force from June 15 and within less than four days one person get arrested.
In a complaint filed at a police station in Vadodara, on Friday a 24-year-old woman has alleged that she met a person in 2018 through social networking site where the accused used a fake identity and told her he was Christian and lured her into a relationship. Later, he raped her on four occasions at a hotel as well as in the flat of a co-accused. The 26-year-old accused allegedly used intimate photos of the woman to blackmail her to marry him and convert to Islam. He was threatening her to make the pictures viral on social media if she did not marry him. They married in 2019. They married according to Muslim rituals. She discovered that he was not a Christian a few days ahead of the wedding when he took her to a relative.
The Gotri Police in Vadodara arrested Samir Abdulbhai Qureshi for marrying a Hindu woman in 2019 by first introducing himself as a Christian and the 25-year-old woman came to know of his actual religion just a few days ahead of the wedding.
The case has been registered under three laws including Rape, Freedom of Religion Act 2021, and Atrocity Act. There also similar legislation in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
According to the new provisions: forcible conversion by marriage, or by getting a person married, or by aiding a person to get married, an accused shall attract punishment of 3-5 years and a fine up to Rs.2 lakh. The jail term is four to seven years and fine Rs 3 lakh if the woman victim is a minor and is from a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe.
All offenses under this law are cognizable and non-bailable. It is emerging trend in which women are lured to marriage for the purpose of religious conversion.