On June 5, 2023, a national-level baseball player, Sanjana Barkade, committed suicide by hanging herself after facing continuous threats to convert to Islam in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh.
The accused who has been identified as Abdul Mansoori aka Rajan Khan was arrested on June 8, 2023, by the Sanjeev Nagar police on charges of abetment to suicide.
The deceased victim’s mother said that Abdul Mansoori was pressuring Sanjana to convert to Islam. Sanjana’s father said that Abdul lied about his real identity to trap the victim. She hung herself from her bedroom while her parents were away at a family function.
According to a report by Dainik Bhasker, the investigation indicated that Abdul Mansoori and Sanjana Barkade were in a relationship for over a year. The two had a rift regarding an Instagram Story a few days before the incident. Her friends said that she was jittery after hearing numerous cases of Love Jihad. She distanced herself from Abdul but continued to threaten her.
Sanjana’s mother said that the accused threatened her on the phone a few days ago. He said-“you are the girl’s mother? it is good that you picked up the call. I wanted to talk to you only. You tell your daughter to accept our religion, Islam. I want to do nikah with your daughter. If you do not accept Islam, we have come to find where you live. We will kill you. Nothing will happen if you accept Islam.”
After hanging up the phone, Sanjana’s mother inquired as to who the caller was. She responded by saying that she did not know him and switched off her phone. Meanwhile, her father learnt three months ago that he was not Rajan but a Muslim. She distanced herself from Abdul after hearing his identity.
This infuriated Abdul, who began to torture Sanjana. He stole her documents and her medals and certificates which she won at various baseball competitions. When she asked for her medals and accolades, Abdul asked her to convert to Islam.
Sanjana’s father stated that the perpetrator was detained following his complaint. This has given him some relief; however, justice will be done only when Abdul gets punished. According to the police, Abdul told them during his interrogation that his relationship with Sanjana had been going on for a year.
He also visited Jabalpur thrice to meet her, but she avoided meeting him. He was continuing to pressure her to continue the relationship by threatening to make her pictures viral on social media if she did not consent.
Following Sanjana’s suicide, the police are trying to find the cause of the fight between Sanjana and Abdul. Her father has reportedly accused Abdul Mansoori, a street vendor in Rewa, of trapping her daughter in a love jihad case.
Love Jihad is also known as “Romeo Jihad”, and it is all about Muslim Men targeting Hindu women for conversion to Islam by various means such as seduction, feigning love, kidnapping, deception and kidnapping in some cases. The term is based on a conspiracy theory. It received attention with alleged first conditions in Kerala and Karnataka in 2009.
There are certain anti-conversion laws at the central level, this includes Indian Conversion Bill (Regulation and Registration -1954) and Freedom of Religion Bill (1979), the Backward Communities Religious Protection Bill (1960)