Couple in trouble for religious conversion

Ahmedabad, December 31: Kaushangini Kadia and Altaf Mirza are suffering for committing a mistake of not following procedure of obtaining permission from authority for religious conversion.

Altaf is in jail for past nine days along with the maulvi who converted the Hindu girl to Islam before her marriage with Altaf.

The couple got married in October last year as per Islamic rituals. Before the marriage, the maulvi in Navtad mosque near Ghee Kanta converted Kaushangini into his fold.

However, the woman’s family members were against this union and filed a complaint against Altaf with Vejalpur police.

Kaushangini appeared before Gujarat high court (HC) to testify that the boy had not committed any crime.

HC quashed the FIR and ordered police to escort the couple to Altaf’s home in Behrampura. However, Kaushangini’s mother Bhavika Kadia filed another plaint with the Karanj police last month against Altaf and the maulvi for illegal religious conversion.

As per the amended Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act, a person is required to obtain permission from the district collector before converting to other religion. In this case, this permission was not obtained.

On December 22, Altaf and the priest were arrested and a local court sent them to judicial custody.

Their bail applications were rejected by a magisterial court. Now Kaushangini is pursuing the case before the city sessions court, where the proceeding is scheduled on Monday. She claims that she had filed an affidavit before her marriage that she was not forced into conversion.

“I maintain that I did not convert under pressure. I did it on my free will. We were living happily, but my father does not want us to stay together. Even policemen are harassing us and force me to give statement of their liking,” she said, adding that she plans to challenge the conversion law.