A former model, who was married to a Muslim for 12 years, has now alleged that her husband asked her to convert to Islam despite she practicing her Hindu faith in the relationship for over a decade.
The 42-year-old woman also claimed that she was physically assaulted before being asked to leave the house. Cops in Maharashtra have launched an investigation into her claims adding that they were also probing the so-called ‘love jihad’ angle. Maharashtra is governed by BJP and police report to the elected government.
“We are also investigating the ‘love jihad’ angle. It is part of our investigation,” Assistant Commissioner of Police (Bandra Division) Sanjay Kadam told PTI.
Addressing a press conference in suburban Bandra on Saturday, the woman showed ‘injury marks’ that she claimed were inflicted by her husband when she refused to change her religion.
“For the past three months, Asif and his cousin Muneef have been saying every woman who marries a Muslim man should convert to Islam. They pressured me and Asif assaulted me when I refused to convert. He hit me with anything that he could lay his hands on, be it bottles, glasses or utensils. On Friday night, he smashed a beer bottle on my head,” the woman was quoted by The Hindu.
A video in which she was crying and levelling allegations against her husband also went viral on the social media. It also contained the statement given to the police.
“My husband recently married a Hindu girl who is half his age. He is now trying to evict me from our home. I’m a Hindu by birth and did not give into his pressure to convert to Islam,” the victim is heard saying in the video.
The victim claimed she married the accused 12 years ago, reported PTI.
“At that time my husband told me there was no need to convert to Islam. But, he started building pressure so that I follow Islam, especially after I gave birth to a child,” she alleged.
She claimed that her husband said if she did not change her religion, she would cease to be his wife. “My husband brainwashed my son and is not allowing me to even touch him. I want my child,” she claimed.
The former model also alleged her husband threatened to kill her if she sought the help of the police and added that “they speak about love jihad all the time”.
She alleged that on 17 November her husband asked her to leave the house. When she asked the reason, he said “such things” would happen if she did not embrace Islam.
The woman, in a statement to the police, also claimed a friend of her husband molested her. ‘Love jihad’ is a term coined by right-wing Hindu groups for alleged efforts to get non-Muslim girls to convert to Islam through love affairs.
Following her complaint, a case under sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code was lodged against her husband and his friend, police said.