The Ratnagiri Police on March 25 arrested a person named Masood Rajjak Shah for forcing his Hindu wife to convert her religion to Islam. He along with his family members allegedly tortured the 25-year-old woman and took away around Rs 14,00,000 from the complainant and her maternal family. They also physically assaulted her and threatened her for life. The incident is said to have happened in Chiplun city of Ratnagiri district.
The FIR has been filed under sections 406, 420, 498 A, 323, 504, 506, 34 of the Indian Penal Code and under sections 3(1)(g), 3(1)(r), 3(1)(s), 3(2)(va) of the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
As per the FIR copy obtained by OpIndia, the complaint has been registered against the victim’s husband Masood Rajjak Shah, mother-in-law Naseema, sister-in-law Faiziya and Nikat, and brother-in-law Kazim. The victim in the complaint mentioned that her husband and her in-laws have been harassing her for the past three years and have been demanding money from her family. She also said that the accused persons hurled casteist abuses at her and tortured her to convert her religion to Islam.
As per the complaint, the victim woman met the accused Masood in the year 2017 and the duo soon fell in love. The latter then proposed marriage but the victim woman refused to marry. She said that she would not convert her religion to Islam and suggested they both stay in a live-in relationship instead. However, the accused then assured the victim that she would not need to convert her religion to Islam and she would be allowed to follow her religion post-marriage.
The duo got married on December 31, 2018, as per the Islamic rituals and Masood soon began imposing restrictions on the woman. He and his family members barred her from taking higher education and forced her to raise kids. The victim woman is the mother of two children and both are in Masood’s house at present.
A year after the marriage, the victim woman was asked to get money from her maternal home. The family members of the accused hurled the castiest abuses at the victim and said that accepting a Hindu in their family was huge and that she should pay for it. They tortured her and even demanded money from her grandfather, as per the victim.
The mother of the victim then obtained a loan of Rs 14 lakhs from the bank and gave it to Masood and his family. The amount was divided and sent to the bank accounts of all the accused. Rs 2 lakhs each were sent to Masood, Naseema, Faiziya, Nikat, and Kazim’s account and Rs 4 lakhs were sent to the victim’s account. Masood later took over the money from the victim’s account and used it to pay the long pending debts.
Reportedly, accused Naseema in the year 2020 demanded an additional Rs 1.5 lakh from the victim’s grandfather. She continued to harass the victim over her caste and asked her to convert her religion to Islam. The victim was also physically abused by her husband and also threatened her for life.
OpIndia talked to the victim who confirmed that she was forced to convert her religion to Islam post-marriage. She also said that she was being harassed by her in-laws over her caste. “I was harassed and abused over my caste. They also looted my family members for money. My husband also asked me to convert my religion. I have left that home and I have come to my grandfather’s house in Chiplun. But both my children are in my in-law’s captivity and I am worried for them. I have written to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) seeking action in the case,” she said.
After the complaint, the NCPCR wrote to SP Ratnagiri, Dhananjay Kulkarni seeking safe custody of the two minor children of the victim. the letter by NCPCR stated that the two minor children are at risk of torture and violence by the victim’s in-law’s family. “Please intervene in the matter and produce minor children before Child Welfare Committee to ensure the safety and security of children and their safe custody,” the letter directed.
Accordingly, the Ratnagiri Police has booked Masood Rajjak Shah, his mother Naseema, sister-in-laws Faiziya and Nikat, and brother Kazim in the case and has arrested Masood alone. While further investigations are underway, the victim has demanded strict action against all the accused and safe custody of her two minor children.