Man arrested under MP’s new anti-conversion law

Barwani: Madhya Pradesh Police arrested a married man under its new law which penalises religious conversions through fraudulent means, following a complaint by a woman in Barwani, an official said on Tuesday.

"On the basis of a written complaint filed by a 22- year-old woman, a 28-year-old man was arrested on Mo­n­day on charges of rape and under provisions of the Freedom of Religion ordinance," Barwani police station in-charge Rajesh Yadav said.

"This is the firstcase in Barwani district under the new legislation," he said.

Yadav said the woman in her complaint alleged the accused had introduced himself to her as Sunny, and she later came to know he was a married Muslim man.

She then started keeping a distance from him, but he allegedly continued to pressurise her for marriage and conversion, the official said.

After filing the complaint, the woman said, "This is an issue of 'love jihad', so I made a complaint. The man is a Muslim and got into a relationship with me by posing as a Hindu. He beat me up. He physically exploited me for four years."

Meanwhile, 2 people moved the Supreme Court Tuesday seeking to be made party in matter related to controversial new laws of UP and Uttarakhand regulating religious conversions due to inter-faith marriages.

In the intervention petition filed on Tuesday, Bihar resident Wasim Ahmad and Ram Lakhan Chaurasiya from Uttar Pradesh said the "ordinance attempts to regulate a personal decision of each human being by encroaching upon an individual's choice to convert to a religion of his/her choice".

"It is submitted that scrutiny by the state of such a personal decision is a grave assault on personal liberty of an individual and is violative of Article 21 (of the Constitution)," the petition said.

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