A Hindu woman from the Haridwar city of Uttarakhand state has filed a police case against her husband for posing as a Hindu while marrying her when, in fact, he is Muslim.
The police have filed a case for fraud and forced religious conversion against the man as the woman told the police that he not only lied to her but also began forcing her to convert to Islam once she caught him.
The first information report (FIR) was filed on 30 January at Kankhal Police Station of Haridwar (FIR number 41/2023) on the statement of Sonia Sharma.
Her statement says that she married the man, who carries an identity card with Rahul as his name, nine years ago. Two months ago, she discovered his true identity through an Aadhaar card found in his bag. The document had his photograph but the name mentioned was Azhar Ahmad.
When she confronted him, he beat her up and threatened her with murder if she did not convert to Islam.
Read her statement in the FIR below:
The Kankhal Police told Swarajya that they have recovered two sets of government-issued identity documents from the man — one in the name of Rahul and another in the name of Azhar Ahmad, which Swarajya is producing below.
The investigating officer of the case, Upendra Singh, said that they arrested the accused on 31 January.
The most common identity card in India, Aadhaar is issued by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) that comes under the government of India.
Azhar alias Rahul has been booked under IPC sections 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 420 (cheating and dishonesty) and 506 (criminal intimidation), along with sections 3 and 5 of the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act, 2018.
A report by Hindustan Times, published on 1 February (Delhi edition), quoted a police officer as saying that the accused accepted concealing his identity from the complainant during interrogation, and also revealed that he was already married to a woman from his Muslim community and has two children with her.
Sonia, too, has two children from the man.
This correspondent spoke to Sonia over the phone.
She said that her parents live in New Delhi. More than a decade ago, she married a man from Haridwar in a match arranged by her family. She was unhappy as her parents-in-law would taunt her for not being able to conceive. She eventually walked out of that marriage.
She returned to her parents, but decided to live independently due to constant taunts and harassment from her sister-in-law (brother’s wife). She went to Haridwar and began living on rent after getting a job at a mobile assembling shop.
There, she met a man who introduced himself as Rahul, and was known in the workplace by this name. They liked each other and decided to marry. Rahul asked her to quit that job. She did, and joined another workplace.
They got married in 2014 in a temple. It was a wedding conducted as per Hindu rituals. Neither of their parents joined them at the wedding. Rahul told her that he was an orphan and his relatives had refused to attend the wedding as he was marrying a divorced woman. Sonia’s parents declined to come as they were not happy that she had taken a decision without their approval.
Sonia told this correspondent that she has no pictures from their wedding day as she had a keypad mobile phone back then. She however shared a picture of the family trip to Har Ki Paudi in Haridwar in 2016.
Swarajya has produced the picture below but blurred the faces of Sonia and her children.
She said that now that she recalls the past, she realises why Rahul was not keen when she suggested a court marriage. He told her that an unregistered marriage in a temple would be better as it was a simple paperless procedure.
Sonia says that while she came to know about her husband’s big lie only two months ago, she had begun to notice stark changes in him soon after their wedding.
He would consume liquor routinely and would thrash her in a drunken state. He would force himself on her often and even indulged in unnatural (anal) sex. He even forced her to have sex with him when she was in the eighth month of her pregnancy.
Sonia says that much before she found out about his real name, she had begun suspecting him of cheating on her. He would leave the house for several days at a stretch saying he was going for official work, but would never share what work it was. He would also keep his mobile phone mostly switched off during that time.
Once, she checked his mobile phone for any clues. When Rahul learnt about it, he hit her with a frying pan on her head. He did it in front of their two children.
Asked why she did not leave him after that incident, Sonia said she had no other house to go to.
Asked about his religious beliefs, Sonia said that Rahul was “just like any other Hindu man”. He would go to the temple with her, wear a kalawa on his wrist, accept prasad after puja and go to “Ganga ji” (Ganga ghat). The family had a small temple at home.
Rahul would also take her to religious places on Shivratri, Navratri and other Hindu auspicious days. She observed ‘Karwachauth’ fast for him. Sonia says she never suspected that he could be a non-Hindu.
Two months ago, when Rahul returned from his routine “official trip”, she emptied his bag to give the bag a wash. Rahul was not home at that time. While taking things out of the bag, she found an Aadhaar Card with the name Azhar Ahmad. The card said he was son of Zafar Ahmad, a resident of Kasganj district in Uttar Pradesh.
When she confronted him that evening, he snatched the card from her. When she did not stop her questions, instead of answering her questions, he started hitting her.
Sonia says that after that day, he became more violent with her. He even began threatening her with murder if she did not convert to Islam. She told this correspondent that he neither offered any explanation nor revealed to her that she was simultaneously married to another woman. She says she learnt it only from the police.
Asked how it was that she never met any of his relatives, Sonia said that whenever she asked him about his extended family, he would say, “I never ask you about your past. So why do you keep asking about mine?"
Asked if her husband had got her two sons circumcised as per Islamic rituals, Sonia said he did not. “Had he done it, I would surely know,” she said.
She said that Rahul would often bring non-vegetarian food home from outside as she refused to cook it, “being a Brahmin”. Once, he told her in jest that he had mixed chicken gravy in her food. “I did not eat dinner that day,” she told this correspondent.
Sonia recalls that when they were watching the news of Shraddha Walker murder case on television, which was carried out by her live-in partner Aftab Ameen Poonawalla, she badmouthed Muslim men in front of Rahul. He listened to her calmly and said, “Muslims are like that only” (“Mohammedan hote hi aise hain”).
Sonia asked this correspondent, “How could I know he was lying, mam?”
As mentioned above, the police have told the media that Azhar accepted the charges of lying about his name and marital status to Sonia. However, the police have so far not commented on Azhar’s motive behind the lie. When this correspondent asked the investigating officer, he simply said, “We are investigating all angles.”
Sonia says she has left Azhar’s house and shifted to a rented accommodation within Kankhal. She has studied till Class XII and has experience of working in mobile, bulb and electric battery assembling companies.
Not The Only Such Case
This correspondent reported a case in 2020 where a man named Waseem Ahmad from Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut district was found to be in possession of two Aadhaar cards — one in the name of Waseem Ahmad and another in the name of Dinesh Kumar Ravat.
The matter came to light when a Hindu woman from the district’s Mundali area filed a case against him, saying that he formed a relationship with her by posing as Dinesh but when she asked him to marry her, he rejected her saying he was Muslim and he trapped her for “teaching people like her a lesson".
The FIR (number 154/2020) was filed on 6 June 2020 at Mundali Police Station on the statement of the woman. The police booked Waseem for rape and forgery, and revealed that he was already married to a Muslim woman and had two children. The anti-forced conversion law, loosely called the ‘love jihad law’, had not come into effect in the state then.
In another case reported by Swarajya last year, a man named Mohammed Faizan was booked and subsequently arrested in Madhya Pradesh for creating a fake Aadhaar card in Hindu name to rent a house to live with a Hindu woman, who had eloped from her house three months earlier.
The case has been filed on the complaint by the landlord, Angad Kumar Sharma, who is a retired defence personnel. Based on Sharma’s statement, the Maharajpura police in Gwalior district filed an FIR (number 156) on 25 February 2022.
Sharma’s statement said that on 8 December 2021, a man who introduced himself as Tarun Singh Bhadouriya came to his house requesting for rented accommodation. A woman named Prarthana Singh accompanied him. The couple said they were married.
Sharma gave the couple a portion of the house on rent. As demanded by Sharma, the couple provided him their respective Aadhaar cards.
The man’s card mentioned his father’s name as Ram Singh and permanent address as New Gauri Nagar in Indore district.
In February, Sharma found out that Tarun’s real name is Mohammed Faizan and his father’s name is Azim Khan, and his permanent address is in Bhind district, which is near Gwalior.
The police booked Faizan under IPC sections 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating) and 465 (forgery).
In September, a case was reported by several media publications where a man named Mohammed Shahnawaz was found to be in possession of a fake Aadhaar card in the name of ‘Golu’ and introduced himself as Hindu to lure a Hindu woman in a relationship to sexually exploit her.
Besides this brief list of cases where men have been found with fake Aadhaar cards in Hindu names to trap Hindu women, there are hundreds of cases reported from all across the country where Hindu women have accused men from the Muslim community of hiding their religious identity to lure them into relationships for their conversion.
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