The Uttar Pradesh Police has made its first arrest under the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance 2020 according to The Wire.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police, Bareilly, Rajesh Kumar Pandey told Deccan Herald, “This is the first arrest under the new law. Accused Owais Ahmad was arrested from the Richha railway gate in the Bahedi area here on Wednesday (December 2). He was produced before a local court and was sent to 14 days judicial custody.” Owais had been absconding since November 28.
SabrangIndia had reported that the first FIR under this ordinance was filed by Tikaram, a resident of Sharif Nagar village in Devarniya against a youth named Owais Ahmed at the Deorania Police station. He has alleged that Owais Ahmed knew his daughter since they were students and recently had started pressuring her to convert to Islam. He further alleged that Ahmed had verbally abused her and even threatened to kill her.
According to media sources, on November 28, a case was registered against Owais under the Uttar Pradesh anti-love jihad law sections 3 (prevents religious conversions by misrepresentation, force, fraud, undue influence, coercion, allurement or marriage) and 5 (penalises any kind of conversion by way of allurement or due to coercion or fraudulent means).
The accused has also been booked under section 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of Indian Penal Code.
After the alleged pressure to convert to Islam, the girl’s father married her to someone else during the Covid-19 triggered lockdown, according to media reports. While speaking to ThePrint, the accused Owais Ahmed said, “I have been arrested under the love jihad law. I have no link with the woman, she got married a year back. I am innocent.”
A senior police officer also told ThePrint that the two had planned to elope in October 2019 but the plan was foiled. The woman was stopped at Rathlam in Madhya Pradesh by the state police in the same month.
The Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Anandiben Patel had promulgated the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance 2020 (Uttar Pradesh Vidhi Viruddh Dharm Samparivartan Pratishedh Adhyadesh 2020) on November 28, 2020.
The law provides for imprisonment of up to 10 years and a maximum fine of Rupees fifty thousand under various categories of forcible or fraudulent religious conversions and also makes such unlawful conversions a non-bailable offence.