Uttar Pradesh is considered the hotspot for cases of forced religious conversion and hence the ‘Anti-Conversion Law’ was seen as a benchmark for the state. However, numerous cases have been reported from different states of the country and in this list, the most shocking remains the hill state of Uttarakhand.
In the month of April itself, many cases of religious conversion have been reported from the state. There have been demolitions of illegal mosques and tombs from the forest land and what not.
A Brahmin woman, 25-year-old Jashoda Sharma registered a police complaint against one Liaqat Ali for trapping her into a fake relationship by posing as a Hindu man, Samar.
The Uttarakhand police registered a case against the man under sections of the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act.
Forced to offer Namaz and keep ‘Roza’ (fast)
Jashoda Sharma daughter of Atar Chandra Sharma a resident of Ramnagar Pucchdi of Nainital district in her complaint stated that she met Samar in 2018. They became friends and soon lovers.
One day, Samar brought two of his brothers and friends and had a ‘filmy-style’ wedding with her. After the wedding, she found that he was not Samar but Liaqat Ali, a resident of the Bazpur area of the Udham Singh Nagar district of Uttarakhand.
When she confronted him he and his friends said, she cannot leave him as the wedding was finished and that she will never be forced to convert to Islam by him or his family.
Jashoda who left her parents to marry Samar had no option but to believe him and hence she stayed at Bazpur.
In 2022, Jashoda gave birth to a daughter and since then Liaqat and his family started forcing her to embrace Islam. In March 2023 they tried killing Jashoda and her daughter for refusing to adhere to their demands.
They were forcing her to offer Namaz, keep Roza and eat ‘beef’.
On April 5, Smar poured a cup of hot tea over Jashoda and heeled abuses. She sustained severe burn injuries. He said, if she will not convert to Islam, he will kill her and his daughter. He added, he will not spare her parents as well and will get them killed in an accident.
The accused is not arrested to date
Following the complaint letter of the victim a First Information Report (number–185/2023) was registered at the Bazpur police station of the Udham Singh Nagar district.
Praveen Singh, the Station House Officer (SHO), Bazpur police station told Organiser on April 18 that they have not arrested the accused so far.
He said the woman keeps changing her statements, maybe she is getting threats but she tells nothing to the police. We have the most strict law in place against conversion, as he gets her converted but she will have to speak in front of the court as well.
Even if he is threatening her, she will have to tell the police for help. In 2018, Liaqat got her converted to Islam.
Based on her complaint letter they have booked the accused under IPC sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 498A (harassment), 504 (intentionally insult), 506 (criminal intimidation) and sections 3 / 5 of the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act.
The accused named in the FIR are Samar alias Liaqat, Khairul Nisha (mother), Niyad Ali (father), Imteyaz Ali (Liaqat’s brother), Haseena Bano.
The accused and his family migrated from Bangladesh
The victim in a telephonic interview with Organiser on April 18 told that when she fell in love with him he posed as a Hindu man. He would wear Kalawa and would go to the temple with her.
Jashoda comes from the Brahmin caste.
Her father is an aged man, she left her family to be with Samar. After learning about his truth she wanted to get back to her home but could not as, she was responsible for her family’s defamation.
She bore all the abuses and torture. Contrary to his promise Samar and his family started pressurising her to convert to Islam. They would ask her to cook meat knowing she was a pure vegetarian. She was not allowed to worship the Hindu deities, they asked her to keep Roza and offer Namaz.
She was forced to wear Burqa and Hijab at home.
She says she feared him a lot because of his anger and violent behaviour. April 5, was not the first time that he attacked her or poured a hot cup of tea on her, he has been thrashing her since always.
She kept on bearing the torture for her daughter.
She says, he and his family would never stop and she fears they can still kill her and her parents. Liaqat is a dangerous man.
Jashoda is not well since she has moved to her place with her parents, and she could not speak much with the correspondent.
A number of cases reported in the past
Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader, Yashpal Rajhans told Organiser that, the father of the accused Liaqat, Niyad Ali moved to Bazpur from Bangladesh. The border of Uttarakhand is porous, people from different countries easily move to the state without any police verification.
Liaqat was involved with other Hindu girls as well, Jashoda is not the only one. He worked at a mobile repair shop.
Yaspal recalled a similar case reported in Udham Singh Nagar in September 2022. In this case, the accused Shahrukh posed as Rajkumar to trap a Hindu woman.
A FIR, in this case, was registered in the Gadarpur police station. The accused even had an Adhar card with the name Rajkumar on it. To keep tab on the victim he installed a CCTV camera in the house.
The accused threatened the victim with meeting Dumka girl Ankita like fate. Ankita a minor girl was burnt alive by stalker Shahrukh Hussain.
The victim’s father Sanjeev Singh told this correspondent, “He Was Forcing My Daughter To Convert To Islam And Marry Him”.
— Subhi Vishwakarma (@subhi_karma) August 29, 2022