Love jihad is a term used to define a crime pattern wherein Muslim men after hiding their identities, trap Hindu women for Islamic conversion. These cases started with women meeting Islamists in their offices, neighbourhoods, and later on social media platforms. On social media, the victims were blackmailed with obscene videos and pictures, giving rise to another concern. On this list, a new pattern has been added recently, where the women meet the accused via gaming applications, get brainwashed, and are ultimately converted to Islam. The activists and media call such pattern crimes as gaming jihad.
In Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur district, a Punjabi man has given a complaint to the police, stating his wife fell prey to Islamists through a gaming application. She is not only practising Islam herself but also forcing other family members to do so.
The victim man, identified as Ketan Saraf, happens to be a Bajrang Dal (Hindu Organisation), karyakarta and says his wife, Puja Saraf, is groomed by Islamists and has become a victim of love jihad.
Based on his complaint, the police have arrested two of the 11 accused mentioned in the FIR.
Chand Babu and Sohail converted Puja to Islam, says the FIR
As per the FIR, Ketan told the police that his wife Puja came in contact with Chand Babu and Sohail through the online gaming application ‘4fun’. They are both natives of Agra, whereas the victim and his wife live in Kanpur.
On September 16, Puja called Chand and Sohail to Kanpur, who came with their whole family, including eight people. They had come to Kanpur to get Ketan, his five-year-old son and his family converted to Islam. Since morning, Puja started arguing with Ketan, beating their son in order to win the argument on conversion. She wanted all his family to convert and become Muslim. When failed to do so she left home with her son.
While leaving home she attacked Ketan and even their son, Ketan shared following picture with Organiser:
Chand, Sohail, and others stayed at a hotel, Gaurav Paradise, located next to Ghantaghar police chowki. Puja was staying there with Chand and Sohail without any ID card from 10 am to 1 pm. When Ketan reached the hotel, he also recovered empty cans of beer and other beverages from the room.
After seeing him, they started reciting verses of Quran and asked him to get converted to Islam.
Ketan told the police that this hotel has become a hub of love jihad, where men like Chand and Sohail bring Hindu women in order to get them converted. The owner of the hotel is also a part of this gang, strict action should be taken against all of them.
He named his wife Puja, Chand Babu, Sohail and eight unknowns in the FIR.
Police arrested both the accused
An FIR (number–97/2023) in this case was registered at the Harbansh Mohal police station of Kanpur district. Organiser called the police station in charge, Girish Chand Yadav, on September 18.
He said, both the accused, Chand and Sohail, have been arrested in this case, and as far as the hotel and its owner are concerned, police teams are investigating the matter and required action will be taken against them as well.
As of now, Chand and Sohail have been booked under IPC sections 147 (rioting), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and sections 3 / 5 of the Uttar Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act.
What Ketan told Organiser?
Organiser called Ketan on September 18 and during the conversation, he shared shocking details about his wife.
He said, “We have been married for almost ten years now and have a 5-year-old son, things were going like a usual couple.”
“My wife’s mother died some time ago and her father’s condition was also not well, so we decided to move with him, as my parents live in Kanupr only, and my brothers were with my parents, I find this best for us,” said Ketan.
He added, that for the past one year or so Puja has been mostly involved in her mobile phone, it was the same phone Ketan had gifted her. She will not prepare meals on time, mostly remain irritated and turned irresponsible since the mobile arrived.
For the past few months, she had been observing Islamic practices like worshipping a poster carrying text in Urdu, listening to Islamic teachings on mobile and wearing black and green clothes. She used to play a game called 4fun, she used to stay online all the time.
Irritated over her behaviour, Ketan took her mobile phone back and found that she used to talk to a man named Zeesahn. They have met through 4fun application. She used to call him “Zeeshu Bhaiya”.
Ketan said, “I logged into the 4fun application and found that Puja has changed her name to Jenab Khan in the app. The application provides an audio chatting facility where people from anywhere can talk to anyone in the rooms. These rooms had a capacity from two people to multiple people. Puja was also a part of the room where Zeeshan, Sohail, Chand Babu and others were also a part”.
He added, that this application also provides money and other benefits, people first become addicted to chasing followers, later they are directed by people like Sohail and others in the name of money and then are softly groomed towards Islam. The same trick was used with Puja, she was so addicted to this game and application that when Ketan took her mobile, she started bothering him. One day while he was praying, she threw the religious text and other things out.
Ketan said he comes from the Mona Punjabi community. He is a wholesale dealer of clothes.
He says, his wife was told by Sohail that, except Islam, other religions worship multiple gods and idols, which can never give them a place in Jannat. She was groomed by them, she also wanted to convert their minor son to Islam.
He said, that after some of his friends learned about what happened with Puja, they asked him to watch the film ‘The Kerala’ story and after watching the film he said, “I felt all of this is happening to me and my wife”.
He wants to show the film to Puja as well. Puja is with her father right now, along with their son. Ketan says, “Like we don’t give up on people who suffer with deadly injuries, we should not leave them when they are misguided. She is being manipulated and groomed, I have spent ten years of my life with her, and she is the mother of my son, how can I give up on her? I will get her back, no matter whatsoever they have done to her, I will stay by her,” he added.
Ketan called this correspondent on September 19 and informed that while he went to his in-law’s house to get his son Puja did not allow him to enter. When he reached the court to record his statement, Puja was there talking to the lawyers to get them bailed. He says, she became pregnant and even terminated her pregnancy with one of the men she met online.
What is 4FUN application?
Organiser checked the application, which is available both on the Android and Apple app stores. It can be logged in through a mobile number or Google account. The first slide suggests it is available in countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Yaman and others.
The app is rated 3.9 stars on the Play Store and 4.1 on the Apple Store.
After logging in, the application provides a room for beginners, with names like ‘Girlfriend.com’ etc. The interface is busy with notifications popping from all sides, however, the home bar suggests there are multiple rooms available on the app that can be accessed without any barrier.
Some of the rooms displayed on the screen when Organiser logged in were named as; Dream Girls, Asha Rani house party, GF BF Dating room, Pyar ek Dhoka hai, Masti room, I am Alone, Setting Mata, Islamic Hosti, Saccha Pyar and more.
Notably, the gaming tab shows there are both one-to-one and multi-player games on the application.
All these games and rooms have a point system that collects coins and then can be redeemed in cash. This application is nothing less than a dating application that requires no background check or anything before entering.
It provides an audio calling facility, some people were heard asking for money to meet.
Well, it is noteworthy that all these rooms had significant Muslim participants and they were playing Islamic music in the background. A woman with a Hijab was telling people how she had blocked everyone but was ready to talk to only those present in the room.
Similar cases from the past
Last week, Organiser reported a case from Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli district where a Dalit family was converted to Islam after one Mehek lured their son through a gaming application called ‘Free Fire’. The man, Suraj and his family not only converted to Islam but also started inviting clerics and Islamic preachers to their house, the day when locals complained at the police station, the family organised a big meeting where other people from the village were lured to conversion. They used to offer money, a better life, the idea of Jannat and more.
Similarly, in June 2023, Organiser reported a case from Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad where a Jain family complained about people their son had met through an online gaming application. With this boy, there were other teens of his age who were lured to Islam through the Discord application. These boys were told that, in order to clear any level of the game, they had to recite ayat from the Quran. To win the game these boys even started visiting the Mosque.
(This report was updated on September 19, 2023)