Police said they had no evidence against him under new unlawful conversions ordinance
A Muslim man from Moradabad who was arrested on December 5 under the new ordinance against unlawful conversions when he had gone to register his marriage to a Hindu woman, was released on bail on Saturday after the police submitted they found no evidence against him.
The man, identified as Rashid, and his brother Salim were released from the district jail after spending almost two weeks behind bars.
The brothers had been booked under Sections 3 and 5 of the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020. Mr Rashid and his wife Pinki had arrived at the marriage registration office in Kanth when they were allegedly handed over to the police by members of a right-wing outfit who opposed their marriage and heckled the woman.
The FIR against the two brothers was lodged on the complaint of Ms. Pinki’s mother, a Bijnor resident, who alleged that Mr. Rashid induced and coerced her daughter into a marriage and took her to Kanth to convert her. She also said Mr. Rashid had allegedly concealed his Muslim identity from Ms. Pinki.
However, following the arrest, Ms. Pinki, in a statement to the district magistrate, had refuted all allegations against her husband. She said that as an adult aged 22, she had married him of her own will on July 24 in Dehradun, where the two were working, before moving to Mr Rashid’s home in Kanth. Ms. Pinki said they had performed the Islamic ritual of nikaah and that she had even recited the Quran.
She also dismissed her mother’s charge that Mr. Rashid had tricked her into marriage, submitting before the magistrate that she was well aware that he was a Muslim and had converted by choice.
In its report, the police told the court that they could not find sufficient evidence against Mr. Rashid and Mr. Salim during the investigation. The police submitted a report under Section 169 of the CrPC (release of accused when evidence deficient) and did not seek further remand.
Taking these into consideration, the Chief Judicial Magistrate Moradabad said keeping the accused in the district jail would “not be justifiable” and granted them bail on personal bonds of ₹50,000 each.
After his release, Mr. Rashid said he and Ms. Pinki had married with mutual consent. He said the family would hold “consultations” before taking further steps.
His mother expressed happiness on the return of her sons. “My son and daughter-in-law are back home. There is no bigger happiness for us,” she said.
However, Mr. Rashid was heart-broken over Ms. Pinki’s miscarriage during her custody in a nari niketan government shelter home and a government hospital.
While the administration has maintained that Ms. Pinki’s foetus was intact pending further examination, she claimed she had suffered a miscarriage after she was administered certain injections at the hospital after she complained of abdominal pain. The family also said that a fresh medical examination done by her in Dhampur town, had shown she had a miscarriage, her mother-in-law said.