Yet another interfaith relationship ended with the death of the Hindu counterpart when the other refused to convert to Islam. In a fresh case reported from the Auraiya district of Uttar Pradesh, a Hindu man in his twenties committed suicide following coercion to Islam as the only condition for marriage. The victim man, identified as Rohit Kumar was earlier booked following a complaint of the accused family that he eloped with their daughter. Upon release on bail, he endured physical assault and relentless coercion to embrace Islam. Unable to withstand the torment, Rohit ultimately succumbed to suicide.
Threatened to convert
A First Information Report (FIR number: 465/2023) was registered in this case at the Bidhoona police station on November 20 by Rohit Kumar’s mother Sarojni Devi.
Sarojini Devi informed the police that her son, Rohit, had a friendship with Salman Khan from Indpamau village and frequently visited his house, where he became acquainted with Salman’s sister, Muskan. The Khan family insisted that Rohit convert to Islam and marry Muskan. When Rohit refused, they falsely accused him at the Sahar police station.
On November 15, 2023, Sattar Khan, Salman Khan’s father, along with several relatives, arrived at their residence. They verbally abused and threatened Rohit, physically assaulting him with sharp weapons and knives. Prompt intervention by villagers prevented further harm. As the Muslim family departed, they ominously declared their intent to harm Rohit and his entire family if he did not embrace Islam. Fearing these threats, Rohit tragically took his own life on November 18, leaving behind a video statement discovered by the family after his demise. Subsequently, an FIR was filed, listing six individuals as the accused: Sattar Khan, Salman Khan, Dulli Khan, Tunnak Khan, Wakeel Khan, and Banti Khan, all residents of Indpamau village.
The FIR charges them under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 147 (rioting), 506 (criminal intimidation), 306 (abetment to suicide), and sections 3 and 5(1) of the Uttar Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act.
Police confirmed allegations
Upon reviewing the video statement provided by Rohit Kumar, the Auraiya police acknowledged that Rohit had been coerced to convert to Islam. The police revealed that Rohit had a previous detention under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and was also charged under section 376 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). However, he was granted bail on November 3 following the High Court’s directives.
थाना बिधूना क्षेत्रान्तर्गत ग्राम बरकेपुर्वा निवासी युवक द्वारा जहरीला पदार्थ खाकर आत्महत्या करने की घटना व वायरल वीडियो से सम्बन्धित प्रकरण के संबंध में मृतक के परिजनों की तहरीर पर सुसंगत धाराओं में अभियोग पंजीकृत किया गया है,जिसके सम्बन्ध SP औरैया द्वारा दी गयी बाइट @Uppolice pic.twitter.com/lgHckRVB1F
— Auraiya Police (@auraiyapolice) November 21, 2023
According to Rohit’s family’s complaint, he faced pressure to change his religion to Islam and marry a girl from a Muslim family. The relentless coercion led him to consume poison on November 18th, resulting in his death during treatment. The police, in a video statement, confirmed the arrest of one individual, with efforts ongoing to apprehend others involved.
When contacted by Organiser, Station House Officer (SHO) Bidhoona, Bhupendra Singh, on November 21, reported that two of the accused, Sattar Khan and Banti Khan, had been arrested, and efforts were underway to locate the remaining culprits. Regarding the video statement, Singh noted that Rohit had expressed being pressured by the accused to convert, and due to his past incarceration, he was fearful, prompting him to take the drastic step.
Allegations of rape
Organiser’s investigation revealed a copy of the FIR filed against Rohit in September 2023. Registered at the Sahar police station under the number 117/2023, the FIR was lodged by Salman Khan, the brother of Muskan, accusing Rohit of alleged abduction. Salman claimed that Muskan, his sister, was a minor at the time of the incident. Anuj and Aryan Khan were also implicated in the same case, accused of aiding Rohit in the kidnapping.
Following Muskan’s recovery, still a minor, she became a witness and accused Rohit of rape. Subsequently, Rohit faced charges under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, along with sections related to kidnapping and abduction, based on her statement.
The sole breadwinner is dead
During a conversation on November 21, this correspondent spoke with Anil Kumar, who identified himself as the uncle (Chacha) of the late Rohit.
Anil conveyed that Rohit, a mere 22 years old, earned a livelihood by operating a battery rickshaw and served as the sole provider for his family, which includes a younger brother, a bedridden father, and a mother. With Rohit’s untimely demise, the family is now grappling with a profound sense of loss.
Reflecting on how Rohit and Muskan crossed paths, Anil recounted that their acquaintance began during a family function at Muskan’s residence, where Rohit was hired for transportation services. Their relationship took a turn in September when Muskan suggested they elope. After their elopement, however, she accused Rohit of rape upon recovery. Subsequently, he was arrested, incarcerated, and only recently released.
Upon Rohit’s release, Muskan visited their home with her belongings packed, urging him to elope once again. Fearing legal consequences, Rohit alerted the police, leading to Muskan’s parents being informed. On November 15, Sattar Khan and his family visited Rohit’s residence, subjecting him to physical assault and issuing death threats. Anil emphasised that Rohit took his own life due to these threats.
Anil highlighted the insistence of Muskan’s family that Rohit convert to Islam and undergo a nikah ceremony with Muskan. However, Rohit stood firm in his refusal to renounce his religion. Anil disclosed that they belong to the Kanwar community and use Kashyap as a surname, falling under the Other Backward Category (OBC). He called for justice for Rohit and demanded strict punishment for all those accused in the case.