UP cops book Bengaluru Muslim cleric for forcible conversion

The cleric's wife said that Ashraf used to speak to her women friends and try to lure them into conversion
Last Updated : 08 July 2021, 12:08 IST

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A Muslim cleric and head of a Bengaluru dargah (shrine) was booked by police in Lucknow for allegedly trying to lure women of another faith into religious conversion.

The cleric, identified as Syed Hasnain Ashraf, headed the Khanqah-e-Ashrafia, a Bengaluru shrine. He was booked on a complaint filed by his wife Kulsoom, who claimed that her husband had been "pressuring" her to convert women from other faiths.

The cleric's wife, a Lucknow resident, claimed that Ashraf had managed to get a woman of another faith to convert to Islam a few months ago and married her. "He thrashed me when I protested and refused to do his bidding," said Kulsoom in her complaint lodged at Ghazipur police station on Wednesday.

Kulsoom, who married Ashraf two years ago, said that the cleric's mother was involved in 'Love Jihad' (Muslims seeking to deceive Hindu women through marriage and convert them to Islam).

The cleric's wife said that Ashraf used to speak to her women friends and try to lure them into conversion. Police said that a case was registered under the state's newly enacted anti-conversion law and that the matter was being investigated.

Earlier, a Muslim youth from Karnataka's Bijapur District had been booked under the anti-conversion law in UP's Gorakhpur District after he was accused of "luring" a Hindu girl.

Dozens of cases tied to incidents of alleged 'Love Jihad' have been lodged in different parts of the state after the new law came into effect. In the courts, however, some cases have failed to pass the initial legal test and the accused have been given reprieves.

The law provides for a maximum imprisonment of 10 years and a fine for religious conversion through deceit, force, allurement or any other fraudulent means for the purpose of marriage.

Published 08 July 2021, 12:08 IST

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