By Omar Rashid

After arresting a youth in Bareilly and filing cases in Mau and Muzaffarnagar, the Uttar Pradesh police have arrested seven persons in Sitapur district under the newly promulgated ordinance against unlawful conversions.

The FIR was filed against eight persons under the Tambor police station of Sitapur, police said.

SP North Sitapur Rajiv Dixit said an FIR was registered (under kidnapping) by the family of a girl on November 24 alleging that a local youth had allured her into elopement. On November 27, on the “basis of facts” in an application submitted by the girl’s family, relevant sections under the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020 were added to the case, said Mr. Dixit.

Seven out of the eight accused have been arrested, said the officer. Sources said those arrested included relatives of the boy who who is accused of running away with the girl.

Efforts are on to arrest the accused and recover the girl, said police. Seven police teams were formed to search for the two in UP as well as in Punjab.

The new Ordinance was also evoked in a case in Mansoorpur in Muzaffarnagar where two Muslim men were booked for allegedly trying to force a married Hindu woman to convert. Sections 504 (criminal intimidation), 506 and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code were also invoked, said police.

A case was also registered under Sections 3 and 5 of the ordinance in Mau district in Purvanchal. In the complaint lodged by a prominent gold trader at the Chiraiyakot Police Station, he has accused a local man of allegedly abducting his daughter on the eve of her wedding.

A 21-year-old man in Bareilly, Uwaish Ahmed, had become the first person to be booked under the new ordinance against unlawful conversion. He was arrested on Wednesday.

The accused was booked under the Sections 3 and 5 of the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020, which was cleared by the State Cabinet recently and promulgated on November 27. The FIR was lodged against the accused person in Deorania police station on charges of allegedly trying to coerce a 20-year-old married Hindu woman to convert her to his religion and marry him.

This story first appeared on  thehindu.com