Close on the heels of the Tara Shahdeo conversion case of Ranchi, another such episode of the much-hyped "love jihad" variety has been played out in Kanpur. While Tara is a national level shooter, the girl in the latest case, allegedly forcibly converted and bound in a farcical 'nikah' besides having been sexually abused, is a national level table tennis player. Neetu (name changed), a minor, is also a state level Taekwondoist.
The Muslim boy Waseem, who had allegedly posed as a Hindu named Raja to court the 17-year-old girl, has been arrested. But the incident has once again exposed the overpowering callous attitude which is now a hallmark of the UP Police.
According to the girl's statement before a magistrate, Waseem and his sister using a false alias (Rani) had lured her to their house where she was taken hostage on August 16. She was then forcibly converted and given a Muslim name. Two days later (i.e. on August 18) she was forced into a 'nikah' with Waseem who took her to an unknown place where he sexually abused her despite her resistance. The same day, she managed to call her father, an auto driver, from Waseem's mobile and told him about her plight. The father immediately went to the Babupurwa police and even gave them the mobile number.
But the police did absolutely nothing despite the parents' repeated cries for help for eight long days. It was only on August 26, when the father met Kanpur DIG RK Chaturvedi who geared up things in the language which the police understand, that the girl was recovered within a record 30 minutes!
"I had to give up my auto driving. All day long, we used to just sit outside the Babupurwa police station hoping someone would listen to us and help us recover our little girl. We even cried before the police officers and constables. But no one helped us," Neetu's father told reporters between wails of agony. "How did they recover her in half-an-hour when the DIG pulled them up? They had his mobile number and could have easily traced him on August 18 itself," he asked angrily.
Neetu said in her statement that Waseem, a bus conductor, had befriended him as Raja during an NCC tour about six months ago. He had taken her mobile number and kept in touch after they returned. "It was only when he and his sister took me to their home on August 16 that I got to know they were Muslim. But, the entire family ganged up and made me a captive in their house," Neetu told reporters.
Babupurwa SO Ajay Varma said initially the case against Waseem had been registered as one of inducing a minor for elopement. "After we came to know of the true story, stringent IPC sections for rape and illegal confinement have also been added," he said. Asked whether it was a case of "love jihad", he said a junior officer was inquiring into it. "We are yet to get papers relating to her conversion, rechristening and 'nikah'," he added.