Booked under UP’s anti-conversion law: Before arrest, youth was thrashed; 2 held for assault, say police

Booked under UP’s anti-conversion law: Before arrest, youth was thrashed; 2 held for assault, say police

A youth booked under Uttar Pradesh’s new anti-conversion law was allegedly assaulted by local residents before his arrest, police said.

According to police, an FIR has been filed after a video, in which some people can be purportedly seen assaulting the youth in Bijnor area, emerged on social media.

“It was brought to our notice that the man accused of conversion was assaulted by local residents. An enquiry has been set up under SP (rural) and two persons have been arrested. More people will be identified and action will be taken against them,” said Bijnor SP Dharm Veer Singh.

According to police, an FIR has been filed under charges of assault and criminal intimidation against unknown persons. Local residents Shakir and Shehzad have been arrested in connection with the assault case.

Around 10.30 pm on December 14, the girl, a Dalit, and her former classmate, a Muslim, were walking back home after a friend’s birthday party, when they were allegedly chased by a group of men, beaten with sticks and questioned.

When it became apparent that they belonged to different religions, they were allegedly whisked away to a local police station.

The FIR, registered allegedly on a complaint by the girl’s father, stated that the accused “induced the girl to elope with him” with the “intention to marry and convert her”.

The youth, who was subsequently booked under the anti-conversion law and charges of abduction and under sections of SC/ST Act, and POCSO Act, is now in a jail in Bijnor.

“Those men beat him up with sticks. He was limping the last time I saw him.They branded us thieves first and then beat us both. They made videos of us and circulated it among the public and made it a case of love jihad. We were just returning from a birthday party,” the girl told The Indian Express.

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