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Gujarat Registers First Case Of 'Love Jihad'; Six Detained

Samir Qureshi, along with his father Abdul Qureshi and four other family members, were booked for luring a 24-year-old woman into marriage using fake religious identity.

Vadodara Police on Friday, June 18, booked at least six people under the Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Act, 2021, making it the first case under the controversial anti-conversion law which lists strict measures against forceful and fraudulent religious conversion through marriage.

Samir Qureshi, the prime accused, and five of his family members were detained after he posed as a Christian to lure a woman of another religion into marriage. Quershi, a mutton-shop owner, used a fake identity to sexually assault the 24-year-old woman and blackmailed her to marry him.

"Recently, the man decided to marry another woman and began torturing the victim to leave him, she alleged. The accused repeatedly threatened to kill the family of the victim if she did not follow their orders regarding compliance with religious rituals of the man's family," police officials said while detailing the incident, reported The Indian Express.

What Is The Case?

The complaint filed by the woman alleged that she met Quershi in 2018 through social media. He presented himself as a Christian and lured her into a relationship by promising a modern life after marriage.

Later, the accused raped her on four occasions and used her intimate pictures to blackmail her for the marriage. The victim became aware of the reality when a nikah was organised instead of a Christian wedding after she agreed to marry him.

Media reports have highlighted that she was forced to convert to Islam and was also verbally abused with casteist slurs.

The FIR said that during this period, the woman got pregnant twice. The first time she was forced to consume abortion pills. For her second pregnancy, she had to go through an abortion against her will.

The Charges

The accused have been booked under Section 4 of the anti-conversion law. Additionally, they have been charged under IPC sections 498A for domestic violence, rape of a woman multiple times [376(2)(n)], unnatural sex (377), voluntarily causing a woman with a child to miscarry against her will (312, 313), intentional provoking to break public peace (504), criminal intimidation [506(2)], and criminal conspiracy [120(b)].

The victim belonged to the Scheduled Caste and hence, charges under various sections of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act,1989 have also been registered.

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