Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)

Four booked for raping 15-year-old

- Shruti Tomar


BHOPAL: Four men allegedly gang-raped a 15-year-old girl after she refused to convert to another faith to marry one of them, police said. They have all been booked under various sections of Pocso (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act and Indian Penal Code and MP Freedom of Religion Act, and the main perpetrato­r has been arrested, police said.

Ujjain’s additional superinten­dent of police Amrendra Singh said the incident occurred in Malegaon, Maharashtr­a, where the girl had gone to work as a labourer.

“In Malegaon, she met one Majid Khan, 23, who introduced himself as Mohit. Khan raped the girl on the pretext of marriage and later forced her to change her religion last October. The girl refused to do so, and Majid and three of friends gang-raped her to take revenge,” Singh said.

The girl came to live with her sister in Ujjain and the family didn’t go to the police. But in April this year, she complained of stomach pain and had to be admitted to a hospital. It was found that she was pregnant.

“She had a premature delivery in the hospital, but the baby died. It was then that the girl shared her ordeal with another woman in the hospital, who then informed a Hindu organisati­on and the police about it,” ASP Singh said.

The police had to deal with the jurisdicti­on issue as the crime happened in Maharashtr­a. So, the Maharashtr­a Police were roped in. With the help of the girl, Khan was called to Ujjain last week and arrested and handed over to the Maligaon police.

On Tuesday, a joint team of Malegaon and Ujjain police exhumed the body of the infant for a DNA test.

Ujjain superinten­dent of police Satendra Shukla said, “We are also taking legal opinion about registerin­g a case in the girl’s home district of Barwani in MP as MP Freedom of Religion Act will not be applicable in Maharashtr­a.”

MP Freedom of Religion Act is a controvers­ial new law instituted by the state in 2021 that penalises forced conversion­s with jail terms of up to 10 years and a minimum fine of ₹50,000. It is among the contentiou­s anticonver­sion laws brought about by a few states to prevent incidents of “love jihad”.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India