Four men gang-raped a 15-year-old Hindu girl after she refused to convert to Islam to marry one of them. The news of the crime surfaced when the minor girl got pregnant and gave premature birth to an infant that died in the hospital.
The girl is a native of Madhya Pradesh but had gone to Malegaon, Maharashtra to work when she was trapped by 23-year-old groomer Majid Khan, 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,” Ujjain’s additional superintendent of police Amrendra Singh said.
As per a Hindustan Times report, “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 15 June, a joint team of Malegaon and Ujjain police exhumed the body of the infant for a DNA test.”
All the four accused have been booked under various sections of the Pocso (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act and Indian Penal Code and the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, and the main perpetrator has been arrested, police said.
Ujjain superintendent of police Satendra Shukla said, “We are 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.”
The case is among numerous cases registered since the recently introduced Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, which contains stringent provisions against attempts to convert Hindu girls or women by means of marriage or through “allurement, force or by misrepresentation or by any other fraudulent means”. A similar act was first passed in Uttar Pradesh and one will soon come into effect in Gujarat on 15 June.