Man held under MP Freedom of Religion Act for pressuring wife to ‘adapt to his culture’

SHAHDOL: A man was booked and arrested under sections of the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 1968 for allegedly pressuring his wife to “adapt to his culture, learn Urdu and Arabic languages”.

“A girl went away with Irshad Khan in 2018. A report was also filed with the police. Since the girl was an adult, the police took her statement. She stated she went with Irshad Khan of her own free will. Since they had established their relations like husband-wife so the girl said she will stay with Irshad,” Bharat Dubey, Sub-Divisional Officer of Police (SDOP), Dhanpur told reporters here.

“On November 27, she went back to her father’s home. Khan came to the police alleging that her wife has been forcefully confined there. Later the woman and her parents came to the police and complain that she will not stay with Khan as he used to torture him,” he added.

Dubey said that the woman, a Hindu, has lodged a complaint, stating that the man, Irshad Khan, harassed her and his family members and was allegedly pressurising her to adapt to their culture and learn Urdu and Arabic languages.

A case has been registered under 498 A and sections 3, 4, and 5 of the MP Religion Freedom Act 1968 against the person.

Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra had recently announced that the state government will bring a bill against ‘love jihad’ in the next Assembly session that will have the provision of five years of rigorous imprisonment.

“One word ‘ Love Jihad’ is doing rounds. We are making preparations to introduce the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Bill, 2020 in Assembly. It will have provision for five years of rigorous imprisonment against those involved in forceful religious conversion and marriage by lure or fraud,” Mishra had said.

“We are also proposing that such crimes be declared a cognisable and non-bailable offence. There will be provision to declare marriages taking place forcefully, out of fraud or by tempting someone, for religious conversion, null and void,” he said.


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