In the latest case of a woman alleging marriage through deception aimed at her religious conversion, commonly known as ‘love jihad’, Seema from Uttar Pradesh’s Lucknow has filed a police case against one Faizal Ahmad.
As per her complaint, Seema met a man named Atharva at a gym. They became friends, developed romantic feelings for each other and later married at an Arya Samaj temple. He did not take her home after marriage saying his family was against their relationship. Within months, she found out that Atharva was Faizal Ahmad.
The Lucknow police have arrested him.
Accused booked under UP’s ‘love jihad law’
A First Information Report (number 692/2022) was registered at Chinhat police station of Lucknow district in Uttar Pradesh on 3 September 2022.
Seema, in her written complaint, told the police that Faizal lied about his name and religion to her, and trapped her in his love web. He married her at an Arya Samaj temple with Hindu rituals.
She eventually found out about his true identity. He forced her to convert to Islam if she wished to live with him.
The complaint further says that he made sexual relations with her in unnatural ways and forced himself upon her. She has not only been mentally tortured by the accused but also sexually exploited by him.
Based on the complaint, the police booked Faizal under IPC sections 420 (fraud), 376 (rape), 377 (having carnal intercourse), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentionally insulting) and 506 (criminal intimidation) along with sections 3 and 5(1) of the Uttar Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act with sections 3, 4 and 6 of the Indecent Representation of Woman (Prohibition) Act.
The very next day, that is on 4 September 2022, Faizal was arrested.
The Lucknow police issued a press statement about the arrest.
What the survivor told the media
Below is a translation of Seema’s interview to news channel Aaj Tak:
I started visiting a gym named Go Fit gym near Vineet Khand Jaipuria in Lucknow in February. The director of the gym offered me a job as Yoga instructor and I happily accepted that.
“During my job, we became good friends. He even took me to his home where I met his mother. His mother was involved in this role play as she also hid his true identity, saying she belonged to the Thakur caste. We soon entered into a physical relationship. At times, he forced himself upon me and made me do things I did not want to. These things were happening at the gym.
“He recorded our sexual intercourse but I was unaware of these recordings.
“I asked Atharva to marry me. He was willing. He took me to an Arya Samaj temple at Tara Estate near Jankipuram. We married each other as per Hindu rituals. After marriage, he took me to a flat instead of his own house, saying his family was not ready to accept this alliance and it would take some time to convince them.
“I readily believed his explanations.
“After marriage, he became very aggressive with his sexual demands. He forced me to have unnatural sex with him, including oral sex. I used to vomit after it. Still, he never showed any tenderness in his behaviour towards me. He used to make me do worse things, but I cannot disclose those.
“I used to fall ill after doing those things. It was traumatic for me. Witnessing his changed behaviour, I sensed something was not right with him. When I inquired about him at the gym, I found that he had done this to two other women as well. He first manipulated them and then used them for his sexual pleasure.
“One day, I suspected something was seriously wrong when I heard him on a call saying, ‘I have made all the videos’. I questioned him about the videos, to which he grew irritated and finally said, ‘I am a Muslim. If you try to be over-smart with me, I will make your videos viral on the Internet. Or will kill you and throw you somewhere and no one will ever find out about your existence’.
“He turned violent. He began assaulting me, and accepted that his name was Faizal Ahmad. He said if I wished to spend my life with him, I will have to convert to Islam. Now, his mother too came to the flat. She also forced me to convert to Islam and become Faizal’s second wife.
“I was shocked to find out about his first wife. His mother told me Faizal has a child too.
“I was tortured by both of them. They abused and beat me. After he left the flat, I went to the police.”
When the Aaj Tak reporter asked her how she failed to identify Faizal for so long, Seema said,
“It is normal for Hindus to wear chains, pearls, rings, lockets with rudraksha and other beads. This is the basic identification. He used to wear all this. I have been to his house. His living room seemed no different than ours. His mother wears salwar-suit just like my mother. He has tattoos on his body. We all know that Muslims do not have tattoos. How could I have identified him?
“It has become very easy for people like Faizal to trap women like me, by posing as Hindus,” she said.
When asked by the reporter what kind of threats she was getting, Seema said, “Of being killed.”
She added, “He even threatened to burn me alive. He has given me every possible death threat.”
Seema told the reporter that ever since she went to the police and recorded her statement, she has not stepped out of her house out of fear. “I feel threatened. I fear that people from his community will kill me for daring to file a case against him.”
Seema said that she did not want any other woman to fall in a similar trap. “It is painful for me to answer these questions. It is painful that people are pointing fingers at me instead of him. Women must be very alert to frauds before choosing a partner,” she said.
(The report was first published at Swarajya here)
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