A Muslim man from District Bijapur of Karnataka was booked under anti-conversion law in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, for allegedly cheating a Hindu girl. The police said that the man, identified as Mehboob, who lived near Indi Railway station in District Bijapur, had entrapped a Hindu teen with a false identity.
The girl’s father, a resident of the Chiluatal area in Gorakhpur, lodged an FIR alleging that his daughter was a victim of love jihad, the police said. He told police that Mehboob was in touch with his daughter for over a year, posing as a Hindu guy.
Police said that the girl had left home for her college last week but did not return. The family members alleged that Mehboob had ‘kidnapped’ the girl.
A missing report was lodged by the woman’s father on January 5 after she did not return home from college, Station House Officer, Chiluatal police station, Neeraj Kumar Rai said. “During an investigation and with the help of call records of the woman’s mobile phone, it was found that she used to frequently talk to the man whose name in the Truecaller app was mentioned as Mehboob and the location as Karnataka,” he said.
A case was lodged against the man on January 11, following which a three-member police team was sent to Karnataka to trace the man and the kidnapped woman, Rai said.
A police team had left for Bijapur to trace the girl and arrest the Muslim youth, sources said.
Around 35 cases of alleged love jihad have been lodged in different parts of Uttar Pradesh after the provisional law came into effect in the state, according to state government officials.
In one of the cases, the court-ordered release of two arrested Muslim youths after the police failed to produce any evidence against them and in another, the court stayed the arrest of a Muslim man, who had been booked under the new law.
As of 25 November 2020, four BJP-ruled states — Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Karnataka — already have ordinances or are drafting laws to prevent interfaith marriages through fraudulence, commonly referred to as love jihad.
The ordinance in Uttar Pradesh, which includes provisions against unlawful religious conversion too, declares a marriage null and void if the sole intention was to change a girl’s religion. The provisional law of Uttar Pradesh and the draft bill in Madhya Pradesh propose sentences of up to 10 years in prison for those who break the law.
The law in Uttar Pradesh was approved on 28 November as the Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance. The law in Madhya Pradesh was approved on December.