In Mawana of District Meerut, a Muslim man attacked his Hindu wife with boiling cooking oil, badly burning her face, but the victim continues to live with him even as her father has lodged a complaint of love jihad against his son-in-law in Ghaziabad. The father is bureaucrat RK Sarangi, posted at the Delhi Secretariat as an under-secretary, and the ‘victimised’ daughter Dr Harsha Bharati Sarangi who has been living with the Muslim man after her return from Ukraine, trained in medicine.
The government official alleged in his complaint that the youth Abdul Rehman, a resident of Mawana in Meerut, had trapped his daughter under a conspiracy in 2017 and had subsequently married her fraudulently.
Superintendent of Police, Ghaziabad, Muniraj G confirmed the content of the FIR against Abdul Rehman under Section 420 of the IPC on the basis of the complaint filed by the girl’s father. The SP, however, claimed that both Rehman and Dr Sarangi had been living together since 2018. At present the couple is living in Noida. He also said it was not right on the part of RK Sarangi to file the complaint at Kotwali.
In his complaint, the IAS officer reportedly accused Rehman of trying to burn his daughter’s face and compel her for conversion. He said in the complaint that to escape any action against the existing law against forced religious conversion, Rehman married his daughter in an Arya Samaj temple and secured a marriage certificate.
Based on the complaint by the IAS officer, the police in District Ghaziabad lodged a case against the Muslim man, office bearers of Vedic Hindu Sabha in the district, the Arya Samaj Temple Trust that hosted the marriage and others. The officer mentioned that his daughter had returned after completing MBBS from Ukraine in 2016. Since then, Rehman had been stalking her.
Initially, the Hindu woman and her Muslim partner were in a live-in relationship, putting up at a flat in Sector 137 of Noida. As per RK Sarangi, the relationship soured soon and Rehman suspected Harsha would desert him.
On 18 November 2017, Rehman allegedly attacked Harsha with boiling cooking oil from a cauldron in the kitchen of their Noida house in a bid to ensure no other man accepts her — according to the FIR. The woman sustained bad burns all over her face, says the FIR.
On 15 October 2018 at 3:30 PM, Rehman and Harsha got married in Arya Samaj Mandir at Tis Hazari in Delhi. The marriage was registered at the Vedic Hindu Sabha office located on Railway Road, Ghaziabad.
The names of Abdul Rehman and Harsha Bharati Sarangi figure in all the documents. The woman’s father has asked in the FIR if Abdul Rehman did not change his religion and name, how this marriage could be registered according to Hindu customs. He has asked under what circumstances, did the priest perform the rituals. The FIR demands that the marriage be declared null and void.
The father wrote in the FIR that his daughter was not a one-off victim of love jihad, but many more innocent girls have been targeted systematically by Islamists. Organisations that solemnise such marriages are to be blamed too, says the FIR.
The distraught father complained to Delhi Police in December 2021. After a long investigation, the police found the allegations to be prima facie true and registered a Zero FIR, which can be lodged at any police station irrespective of where the incident has taken place
The case was transferred to the police in District Ghaziabad, registered on 22 April at Nagar Kotwali.
The Yogi Adityanath government of Uttar Pradesh had made a law against conversion post marriage in its first tenure. The anti-conversion ordinance in Uttar Pradesh was approved by Governor Anandiben Patel on 27 November 2020, which provides for a maximum punishment of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of Rs 50,000 for cheating, inducement or forced conversion for marriage. In the very first month of the enactment, 14 cases were registered in Uttar Pradesh, in which 51 people were arrested.
Such cases are rampant in western Uttar Pradesh. On 21 December 2021, the court pronounced the first sentence under this law in Kanpur. Two of the cases from District Meerut have so far drawn nationwide public attention. In each case, a Muslim man befriended and married a Hindu woman to grab her property and then killed her.