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Meerut 'love jihad' takes new turn, girl says she willingly eloped
By Input from Agencies  Published on: 13-Oct-2014 05:01:28
Place: Lucknow
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The ‘love jihad" controversy, an issue the Bharatiya Janata Party sought to exploit during the assembly by-elections in western Uttar Pradesh last month, took a new turn with a 22-year-old local woman going back on her statement that she was gang-raped and forcibly converted to Islam.

Meerut  'love jihad' takes new turn, girl says she willingly eloped

The girl's father had filed a missing complaint on Sunday and the police was searching for her when the girl approached the woman police station in Meerut and claimed that there is a threat to her life from her parents', said Superintendent of Police (rural) Captain M S Begh.

The alleged victim said that she had "gone on her own free will" with the boy, a Muslim, contradicting what she had said in her Sec 164 (of the Cr PC) statement to a magistrate. However, the father of the girl has disputed her claim and said she has been threatened to give a retraction statement.

The state BJP President Laxmikant Bajpai accused the Samajwadi Party government in the state of "directing" the police to protect the criminals and demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation probe.

The BJP campaign during the by-elections also did not seem to have got any benefit for the party which lost three of the 11 assembly seats for which elections were held. And the party also later distanced itself from the "love jihad" campaign which its MP Yogi Adityanath had mounted at that time.

The girl has now told the police that she had run away from her house as there was "threat to her life" and alleged that she was also "beaten up".

The police said that after recording her statement in front of an executive magistrate, she has been sent to Nari Niketan (women's home) for her safety and protection.

"Right now she has come to the mahila (women’s) police station at 8 am and she has told that she has gone on her own free will with a boy. But the case has already been chargesheeted and pending before the court.”

"She told the woman police officer that she has life threat from her parents. On this ground, we have brought the woman to the executive magistrate and he has recorded the statement of the woman. She has been sent to the Nari Niketan for the safety and protection," said Omkar Singh, SSP Meerut.

The matter of alleged gang rape and conversion in August was latched up by the BJP whose leaders including Yogi Adityanath, state in charge of bye elections, exploiting the issue, especially in western parts of the state.

The alleged perpetrator Kaleem and eight others were arrested after the girl had alleged on August 3 that she had been abducted, gang-raped and forcibly converted to Islam. On August 3, the woman's father had lodged a complaint in the Kharkhauda police station against Village Pradhan Nawab Khan, cleric Sallaullah, his wife and daughter Nishant for abduction and rape.

The complainant had alleged that Nawab along with five others abducted his daughter on July 23 and took her to a Madrassa where they raped and illegally confined her. They also forcefully made her sign some papers related to religious conversion.

While a magisterial inquiry was ordered into the case, tension gripped the Kharkhauda and Atrada areas in Meerut, as irate members of a particular community attacked and pelted stone at the houses of members of another.

The police and Provincial Armed Constabulary personnel were also deployed in the area to bring the situation under control.

As the incident sparked an outrage, the Centre sought a detailed report from the Uttar Pradesh government at the earliest while her family demanded a CBI probe.

Ten persons were arrested in the case and further investigations were on when the victim retracted from the statement, Begh said

Bajpai said, "It is now exposed that the Meerut police on the directions of the UP government has come out in protecting criminals.” "The BJP has not made any textbook case. It is now exposed that Meerut police under the direction of the UP government has come out in protecting criminals."

He said that the woman had given a statement under Section 164 in which she had said that she was giving the statement without being under any pressure. "And retracting from the statement given before the magistrate, for that whatever crime or offence it comes under, action should be taken according to that. This case has been spoiled by the police on the orders of UP government. The case should be investigated by the CBI or some outside agency," he said.

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