28-yr-old Muslim man arrested under MP’s new anti-conversion law

The woman in her complaint alleged that the accused had introduced himself to her as Sunny, and she later came to know that he was a married Muslim man

Barwani : Madhya Pradesh police have arrested a married man under its new law which penalises religious conversions through fraudulent means, following a complaint filed by a woman in Barwani district, an official said on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, the state government promulgated the Freedom of Religion-2020 ordinance, which provides for 10 years in jail in some cases.

“On the basis of a written complaint filed by a 22- year-old woman, a 28-year-old man was arrested on Monday on charges of rape under provisions of the Freedom of Religion ordinance,” Barwani police station in-charge Rajesh Yadav said.

“This is the first case in Barwani under the new legislation,” he said.

Yadav said the woman in her complaint alleged that the accused had introduced himself to her as Sunny, and she later came to know that he was a married Muslim man.

The woman then started keeping a distance from him, but he allegedly continued to pressurise her for marriage and conversion, the official said.

Talking to reporters after filing the complaint, the woman on Monday said, “This is an issue of ‘love jihad’, so I made a complaint. The man is a Muslim and got into a relationship with me by posing as a Hindu. He beat me up. He physically exploited me for four years.”

The case falls under the jurisdiction of the district’s Palsud police station and is being transferred there for further action, Yadav said.

The Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Ordinance penalises religious conversions through fraudulent means including those for the sake of marriage.

There is a provision of three to 10 years of imprisonment and a fine of Rs 50,000 in cases of marriage carried out by hiding religion.

In cases involving religious conversion of members of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and minors, a provision has been made for the imprisonment of two to 10 years and Rs 50,000 fine.

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