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HomeNewsAnees given exemplary punishment for love jihad

Anees given exemplary punishment for love jihad

Mohammad Anees Ahmed deceived a Dalit woman from Mangolpuri, Delhi, by posing as a Hindu man named Akash in order to initiate a relationship with her

On 6 March, a man named Mohammad Anees Ahmed, hailing from Hapur, Uttar Pradesh, was handed a life sentence for deceiving a Dalit Hindu woman by concealing his true identity and converting her to Islam. In a landmark judgment against love jihad, the Muslim man was found guilty by an SC/ST court in Bulandshahr under the Religious Conversion Act, SC/ST Act and relevant sections of the IPC. The Special SC/ST Act Court also levied a fine of Rs 4.56 lakh on the convict.

This marks the inaugural instance of a life imprisonment verdict under the Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Act in Uttar Pradesh.

Case against Mohammad Anees Ahmed

Under the guise of a Hindu man named Akash, Mohammad Anees Ahmed duped a Dalit woman from Mangolpuri, Delhi, into establishing a relationship with him. Approximately eight months ago, he relocated her to the Gulaothi region of Bulandshahar, Uttar Pradesh, where they began cohabiting in a rented residence. Exploiting the pretext of marriage, he engaged in physical relations with her on multiple occasions.

Subsequently, the perpetrator revealed his true religious affiliation and forcibly converted her to Islam, assigning her a new identity as Ayesha. Eventually, he deserted her and absconded, pilfering Rs 2.50 lakh in cash and gold ornaments before departing. Despite the victim’s attempts to seek an explanation for his actions, he responded with casteist slurs and declared, “I cannot marry you because you are a chamar,” before disconnecting the call.

The complaint was lodged on 27 April 2022, following which the police submitted a charge sheet to the court. The monitoring cell of Bulandshahr oversaw the trial at the high court, during which five witnesses testified against the accused. This prosecution falls under the purview of the “Operation Conviction” initiative spearheaded by the state’s director general of police.

The public prosecutor stated that the chargesheet had been submitted to the court for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST) after careful consideration. The case was officially registered on March 15, 2022. The victim belongs to the SC/ST community, while the perpetrator is of the Muslim faith. The accused deceived the woman by posing as a Hindu, brought her to Gulaothi, and later revealed his true identity to her. He coerced her into converting her religion and began calling her Ayesha. Eventually, he abandoned her after taking her money and gold chain.

The counsel further mentioned that the accused was charged under Sections 376(2), 420, and 406 of the Indian Penal Code, as well as Sections 3, 2, and 5 of the SC/ST Act, and Sections 3/5 of the Unlawful Religious Conversion Act. The perpetrator was found guilty on all counts and sentenced to life imprisonment, which implies incarceration until his death, along with a fine of Rs 4.56 lakhs. Out of this amount, Rs 3.50 lakh will be provided to the victim. This case marks the first instance where a convict has been penalized for religious conversion.

The additional superintendent of police informed that the chargesheet was filed by the police within a little over a month, and a prompt investigation was conducted by the authorities. The police ensured the presence of witnesses in court on the scheduled dates. As the victim had travelled to Bengaluru for her postgraduate course, her statement from the doctor who conducted her medical examination was obtained through video conferencing, as she couldn’t physically appear in court. The ASP also highlighted that this punishment was exceptionally rare following the enactment of the Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance in 2020.

The law and precedence of conviction before Anees

In the first case of its kind under the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act, 2021 (Anti-Love Jihad Act), a young Muslim man in the Amroha district of the state has been sentenced to five years in prison for attempting to marry a Hindu girl by concealing his religion through pretences.

The Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance, 2020, commonly known as the “love jihad law” in the Hindi language media, is an anti-conversion law implemented by the Government of Uttar Pradesh, India. The ordinance was approved by the Uttar Pradesh state cabinet on 24 November 2020 and subsequently signed by state Governor Anandiben Patel on November 28, 2020.

Under this law, religious conversion is considered a non-bailable offence, punishable by up to 10 years of imprisonment if it is carried out through misinformation, force, allurement, or any other fraudulent means. Additionally, the law mandates that religious conversions for the purpose of marriage in Uttar Pradesh must be approved by a district magistrate. The law also includes strict measures against mass conversions, including the cancellation of registration for social organizations involved in such activities.

While the law gained significant attention and sparked intense debates surrounding love jihad, the term itself is not explicitly mentioned in the ordinance. The timing of the ordinance’s passage coincided with the launch of ‘Mission Shakti’ by the Yogi Adityanath government, a campaign aimed at ensuring the safety and security of women in the state.

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