A Hindu man from Maharashtra who married a Muslim woman five years ago, is being forced by some members of her community to convert to Islam. Last month, he was forcibly circumcised by a gang along with slurs of ‘kafir’.
Rashtra Jyoti has learnt that the couple has shifted out of their home to move to a different town, whereabouts of which we cannot share for reasons of their safety.
The couple has given their statement in a letter to a rights organisation named Legal Rights Observatory, which is trying to get a police case filed. The couple has also recorded a brief statement on video and shared with us.
The man’s statement in the letter is as follows:
The man, Bablu Milind Chauhan, belongs to the Valmiki jaati, which comes under Scheduled Castes.
In 2018, he met a woman named Rabia, who was a widow with two daughters. Rabia’s husband from her Muslim community had passed away some years ago. Bablu and Rabia liked each other and, with the consent of both their parents, got married in a ceremony in Solapur on 15 June 2018.
During lockdown, they shifted from Solapur to Pune for work. Bablu found employment at a brick kiln in Daund city of Pune and rented a place in Kumbhar Galli opposite Pardeshi building. There, a neighbour named Asif Sheikh learnt about them.
One day, Asif approached Rabia and asked her if she was Muslim, to which she said yes, she was. Asif began harassing Rabia after that day. When Rabia told this to Bablu, he confronted Asif, but the latter insulted Bablu saying he was a ‘kafir’ (infidel, considered the worst of sinners in Islam).
Asif told him, “You are Hindu, you are ‘kafir’ and despite that, you married a woman from my religion. Either you convert to Islam or leave her.”
Asif further told him that if Bablu did not pay heed to his words, he would be killed and driven out of Daund.
Bablu told this to Rabia, and the two decided to move out of Daund. On 3 October 2022, Asif entered his home with a man named Qumer Qureshi in tow. Qureshi is locally known as ‘Haji Saheb’.
Asif complained to him that Rabia had married a Hindu. Qureshi and Asif assaulted the family and forcibly took Rabia and her daughters Nargis and Alia with him. The women returned home after two hours.
They told Bablu that they were taken to Qureshi’s office near a qabristan(Muslim burial ground). There, they scolded her for marrying a Hindu ‘kafir’ man, and offered to get her married to a “five-time namazi” from her community. They also threatened her that they would get Bablu killed if she did not heed their advice.
Some more such confrontations happened in the following days. The couple was still making up their mind whether to shift out of Daund. Then, on 14 October 2022, Asif and Qureshi again entered their house, but this time accompanied by a man they called ‘Doctor Saheb’.
The group made the women leave the house and forcibly undressed Bablu. While Asif and Qureshi held him by force, the ‘doctor’ circumcised Bablu by slicing out a layer of skin from his private part.
Despite pain and trauma, Bablu, along with Rabia and their daughters, fled Daund. Out of fear and hurry, they did not give a complaint to the police that time.
The letter concludes here.
Rashtra Jyoti also contacted the Daund police station. The person who picked up the call said that the police station had received no such complaint, and if they get any, they would look into it.
A member of the organisation told this correspondent that they recently learnt about Bablu, helped him get rehabilitated, got his written statement and would now approach the police for a case.
The member further said that Bablu is currently carrying no mobile phone and hence cannot be contacted directly.
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