The Police unit in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh have arrested a Muslim man for allegedly trying to convert a Hindu woman to Islam. This is the first under the state’s new anti-conversion law targeting “love jihad.”
Although the term “love jihad,” has been slammed by critics as being Islamophobic, the Indian government is resolute in its quest of stopping Muslim men from forcefully converting Indian women to Islam by marrying them.
Bareilly district police confirmed the arrest on Twitter, after the man was “accused of pressuring conversion, arrested and sent to jail.”
According to reports, the woman’s father first filed a complaint, accusing the 21-year-old Muslim man of pressuring his daughter to convert and threatening her life if she didn’t. The woman was allegedly in a relationship with the man but was married to someone else earlier this year.
The man was sentenced to 14 days in judicial custody, according to online newspaper ThePrint.
However, he has denied ever knowing the Hindu woman. “I have no link with the woman, she got married a year back. I am innocent,” he said.
In the father’s complaint, as revealed by news agencies, he alleged that the man had known his daughter since they were students, and had been pressuring her to convert. A police officer told ThePrint that the two had planned to elope in October of last year, but were unable to do so.
If found guilty, an alleged offender could face up to 10 years in prison, as offences committed under the law are non-bailable.
At least four other states are drafting laws against “love jihad,” according to The Quint.
The law draws on a conspiracy theory that a large number of Muslim men are feigning love for the purpose of converting women to Islam.
Hinduism remains India’s dominant religion with about 1.2 billion adherents. Islam follows closely with over 170 million followers, making India’s Muslim population the world’s third largest.
NEWS/PHOTO SOURCE: News Agencies