Pulling up the state police over its handling of a case of a woman’s alleged forcible conversion to Islam and marriage, the Rajathan High Court on Wednesday directed it to register an FIR and submit a report after her family claimed that it was an instance of ‘love jihad’.
A bench of justices GK Vyas and MK Garg also directed the state government to file a reply clarifying the legal provisions pertaining to religious conversion in the state.
Hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by the 22-year-old woman’s brother, the bench expressed anger over the “negligence” of the police, which allegedly refused to file an FIR on her family’s complaint.
The court questioned as to how the police could assume that the girl’s conversion was legal “just by way of an affidavit over a stamp paper of Rs 10”, when there was no provision in law in this regard.
“By this way, tomorrow, even I could address myself as Gopal Mohammad,” it said.
In his petition, the brother claimed that one Faiz Modi had been harassing his sister for long and abducted her while she was going to college.
She was made to sign some papers by him and fake marriage documents were prepared, he alleged.
When the family members could not find her, they approached the police which refused to file an FIR stating that Faiz Modi had already produced proof of marriage and an affidavit of religious conversion by the woman dated April 14, the brother alleged.
He alleged that she was blackmailed by the accused with objectionable pictures and forced to convert to Islam and marry him.
Appearing from the petitioner, lawyer Gokulesh Bohra argued that the girl was with her family till October 25, while the documents were predated by six months.
“This is a clear case of ‘love jihad’ and over half a dozen such cases have already been reported in the city in the past some time due to the disinterest shown by the police in investigating these cases,” Bohra claimed.
It has been alleged that Hindu girls are being lured into conversion and marriage by Muslim men and it is often termed as “love jihad’ especially by Hindu outfits.
Hearing the petition, the court on Wednesday asked the Rajasthan Government to specify the laws and guide lines for conversion in the state.
The court directed that the girl be sent to Nari Niketan (women shelter) for seven days and instructed the police to ensure that no one meets her there.
Seeking a detailed report in the matter, the court asked the police whether it tried to probe the truth of the purported affidavit by the girl.
It directed the police to file an FIR and probe the matter.
The matter comes in the backdrop of the controversy over a case of a Kerala Hindu woman, who had converted to Islam before marrying a Muslim man, Shafin Jahan.
The Kerala High Court had annulled his marriage and described it as an instance of ‘love jihad’, which was challenged by Jahan.
It was alleged that the woman was recruited by Islamic State’s mission in Syria and Jahan was only a stooge.
Ashokan K M, the father of the woman, had alleged that there was a “well-oiled systematic mechanism” for conversion and Islamic radicalisation.
Jahan had on September 20 approached the apex court seeking recall of its August 16 order directing the NIA to investigate the controversial case.
The matter is now before the apex court.