A disturbing case has emerged in the Prayagraj district of Uttar Pradesh, shedding light on the coercion of Hindus to convert to Islam through various means. In this case, two generations of a Hindu family fell victim to manipulation by an Islamic cleric, ultimately being forcibly converted to Islam. The family faced numerous hardships, including the loss of their minor daughter, involvement in illicit ‘jhad-phook’ practices, sexual assault, and the compulsion to embrace Islam. In connection with this case, three brothers were arrested by the police, while their deceased father, the primary accused, was not held accountable.
According to the First Information Report (FIR number 586/2023) filed at the Colonelganj police station in the district, the late cleric Mushtaq Ali and his three sons, Akram, Junaid, and Faizan, along with two others, were identified as the accused.
The victim, Sangeets Gupta, informed the police that years ago, her father, the late Baccha Gupta, was enticed into conversion by Maulana Mushtaq Ali under the guise of enhancing his business. Baccha, who owned a sweet shop, encountered Mushtaq, who persuaded him that frequenting the mosque and presenting chadar could significantly boost his business. Baccha succumbed to his influence, began visiting the Mazar, and, within months, was manipulated into converting to Islam. Mushtaq instructed them to cease worshipping Hindu deities and instead offer chadar at the Mazar.
Subsequently, Mushtaq demanded that they construct a grave at home, warning that failure to comply would result in the entire family’s demise through his purportedly miraculous ‘jhad-fook’ powers. He extended his influence to Sangeeta’s residence, where she resided with her husband and in-laws, maintaining a watchful eye on her daughters.
Following her father’s demise, Mushtaq continued to terrorise Sangeeta, compelling her and her daughter to visit the Mazar located in the Chhota Baghada area of the town. There, he confined the minor to a room and subjected her to sexual assault. When the minor disclosed the incident to Sangeeta, she confronted Mushtaq, only to be met with threats of severe consequences. Mushtaq claimed he possessed the ability to cause harm, much like what happened to her father through his alleged magical powers. Consequently, the daughter’s health deteriorated, leading to her eventual demise on December 28, 2018.
Haunted by the loss of her daughter, Sangeeta succumbed to fear and complied with Mushtaq’s every demand, relinquishing money, jewelry, and all items requested for the Mazar, all in dread of his purported magical powers.
On October 23, 2023, Mushtaq passed away. On the same day, his sons Akram, Junaid, and Faizan visited Sangeeta’s house, claiming that before his death, Mushtaq had instructed them to bring her to the mausoleum at any cost. Fearing their threats and intimidation, Sangeeta reluctantly went to the Mazar on October 24, where she endured verbal and physical abuse.
In her formal complaint, Sangeeta disclosed that Akram and his brothers compelled her to spit on the floor and ingest it. They confined her in a room where they subjected her to inappropriate touching and made offensive remarks. Additionally, they demanded that Sangeeta bring her elder daughter to the Mazar. She emphasised that she was not the sole victim of their malicious intentions; numerous other women faced similar torture and assault. According to Sangeeta, the accused and their family had coerced these women into converting to Islam. The females in the family also participated as needed for the purpose of conversion and manipulation.
She added, “With all these claims I approached both Colonelganj and Annie Basent police stations but to no avail and no one filed an FIR against the perpetrators”. This complaint letter was given to the authorities on November 11 and the FIR was lodged on December 5.
As per the FIR the accused have been booked under sections 147 (rioting), 323 (causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult), 342 (wrongful confinement), 354 (A) (sexual harassment) and provisions of the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful conversion of Act.
A case was not registered against Mushtaq as he had died, police said.
Organiser called the station-house officer, Colonelganj, Govind Yadav on December 6 and he said the police has arrested the three named accused in the FIR on December 5. He added an FIR was registered at Colonelganj police station on December 5 based on the woman’s complaint against the three brothers for “forcibly” converting her and her daughter, police said.