Representative pic
Representative pic

Mandsaur: Mandsaur district reported first case of Love Jihad wherein a man allegedly used fake identity to lure two minor girls on pretext of marriage, raped them and forced them to convert their religion.

Police arrested one of the accused from Uttar Pradesh, while search for another is going on. Police booked duo under the state's new law, which penalises religious conversions through fraudulent means, an official said on Tuesday.

Suwasra police station sub-inspector Ritesh Damor said police conducted raid in Bijnor district in Uttar Pradesh last week and arrested one Sahil, 19, while the main accused Irfan who introduced himself as Akash fled from the spot.

A case has been registered against both for rape and abduction and provisions of the new anti-conversion law. Damor said matter came to fore on February 1 when the parents of two minor girls lodged missing complaint. During investigation, a team from Suwasra police station reached Delhi and got some clues about the location of girls. The police team subsequently traced the girls to a room at Chandpur village in UP's Bijnor district last week, the official said.

When questioned, it was revealed that a 16-year-old girl became friends with one of the accused after she received a call from an unknown number on her mobile phone. Later, she persuaded her 15-year-old friend living in the neighbourhood to run away from home with her.

During questioning, 16-year-old girl said she befriended a man, who had identified himself as Akash, after receiving a call from him about a month back. Later, the man called the girl and her friend to come to Bijnor on pretext of marriage. The girls were allegedly raped and detained by the man and his friend, Damor said.

The official said the girls also alleged that they were told to convert their religion for marriage. The girls also said that they later found that Akash's real name was Irfan. During police raid in Bijnor last week, Irfan fled while his friend and co-accused Sahil (19) was arrested, the official said.

The Madhya Pradesh government promulgated the Freedom of Religion 2020 ordinance, which penalises religious conversions by use of misrepresentation, allurement, use of threat of force, undue influence, coercion or marriage or by any other fraudulent means. It provides for 10 years in jail in some cases.

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