In yet another case of a fake identity trap, a Dalit Hindu woman registered a complaint against one Shehnawaz in the Ayodhya district of Uttar Pradesh. She informed the police, that the accused posed as Dilip and had married her in a temple. Later, he took her to his village, where he forcefully converted her to Islam. Now he is forcing her son to undergo circumcision.
What says the FIR?
A First Information Report (number–406/2023) was registered at the Bikapur Kotwali on August 13 by the victim Malti.
In her complaint, she told the police, she is a native of Chanderiya village in Gorakhpur. She was married to Subhash, a native of Hata. From this marriage, she has two children a son (13-year-old Khushdil) and a daughter (1-year-old Khushi). When Khushi was still in her womb, Subhash died in Mumbai.
Malti also lived in Mumbai, and beside their house lived one Dilip. He lured her to marry him against false promises. The same year Malti and Dilip got married to each other as per Hindu customs in Jivdani Temple, Mumbai.
Three days after the wedding, Subhash took her to his village in Bhaggu Jalalpur, Ayodhya. Upon reaching his home, he took her to a new place, where she was forced to have nikah with him as per Islamic rituals. Later, he was taking her son for circumcision, and when confronted, he said, His name is Shehnawaz. He said, “If you want to live here with me, you will have to follow Islam and live like a Muslim”.
What says the Police?
Organiser called the Station House Officer, Rajesh Kumar Rai, Kotwali Bikapur on August 17. Rai said, the accused has been arrested and the statement of the victim under Section 161 of the CrPC has been recorded.
Following the complaint, the Ayodhya Police arrested the accused and booked him under IPC sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and sections 3 and 5(1) of the Uttar Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act.
When asked why no section for the SC-ST Act has been invoked against the accused even after the victim belongs to the Harijan community, he said, “The victim did not mention this in the FIR, the accused has not converted her because she is a Harijan,” it was done as per her will, added Rai.
The police also shared a press note after the arrest of the accused which can be seen here:
— AYODHYA POLICE (@ayodhya_police) August 15, 2023
What says the victim?
In a telephone interview with Organiser on August 17, Malti said, Dilip lived beside her shanty in Mumbai. He used to attend Durga Puja, Dusshera, and other festivals like Hindus did, it was impossible to believe that he was a Muslim.
After her husband’s death, Dilip began to visit her frequently. A little later, he assured Malti that he will take care of her children and was deeply in love with her. Later, he took her to his village where a Maulana was sitting in his house. They all made her put her thumb impression on a document written in Urdu.
Malti shared a copy of the document with Oragniser, this is the Nikahnama:
Later, the Maulana asked her to recite Kalma in Urdu, to which Malti said, she did not know how to say it. However, even after this documented nikah, Malti kept living with Shehnawaz. She said, “Madam I had not recited the Kalma, so I was still a Hindu”.
On August 8, they again returned to Shehnawaz’s village, where he asked Malti’s son Dilkhush, to undergo circumcision and convert to Islam. Malti refused and said she would register a complaint against them. After this spat, she was thrown out of the house.
Shehnawaz was a married man like Malti, but his first wife did not live with him.
Malti said after Shehnawaz was arrested by the police, she was rushed home by the police officers. Now she is receiving threatening calls from his family members who are saying, “We have money and will surely get our brother out, then we will tell you who we are. At least, he slept with you, no one can stop us from getting him bailed out”.
Malti says Shehnawaz worked at a handloom factory, where she also worked as a helper. Her parents died years ago. Now she has nowhere to go.
On August 17, Malti received a call from Shehnawaz’s sister Jannat-ul, who called her and threatened her. She is forced to take down the complaint against her brother and said, “So what, one of my brothers is in jail, the rest of them are still out and you cannot imagine what we can do with you”.