A 21-year-old man in Bareilly, who became the first person to be booked under the new ordinance against unlawful conversion in Uttar Pradesh, was arrested on Wednesday, police said.
The accused Uwaish Ahmed was absconding since being booked under the Sections 3 and 5 of the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020, which was cleared by the State Cabinet last week and promulgated on November 27.
This was the first case lodged in the State under the new ordinance, which makes religious conversion a cognisable and non-bailable offence inviting penalties up to 10 years in prison if found to be effected for marriage or through misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or other allegedly fraudulent means.
The FIR was lodged against the accused person in Deorania Police Station on charges of allegedly trying to coerce a 20-year-old married Hindu woman to convert her to his religion and marry him.
Sections 504 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code were also invoked.
The FIR was lodged on the complaint of Tikaram Rathore, a resident of Sharifnagar village.
Mr. Tikaram alleged that the accused person had developed a friendship with his daughter during their education and wanted to “coerce, coax and allure her into converting”.
“Despite repeated disapprovals by me and my family, he [the boy] is not listening, and is applying pressure on me and my family through abuses and death threats…,” alleged Mr. Tikaram in his police complaint.
Superintendent of Police (Rural) Bareilly Sansar Singh said a case under kidnapping the girl had been lodged against the boy earlier.
The woman’s brother Kesarpal Rathore, however, had said that the case involving the accused had been resolved in 2019. His sister had also married another boy in May this year, he said.
Mr. Kesarpal said that the family did not approach the police for the latest FIR, claiming that police came to their house and questioned them about the earlier case. The police then took his father Tikaram with them to the police station, he said recently.