Forced To Convert To Islam As Punishment For Supporting A Political Party: Calcutta HC Seeks Reports From CBI & NIA
The Calcutta High Court has directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to file reports in the form of affidavits in a Writ Petition filed by two sisters alleging that their husbands (who are brothers) have been forcefully converted to Islam as punishment for supporting a political party.
The Bench of Justice Rajasekhar Mantha has also directed the Police to ensure the security of the Petitioners.
Senior Advocate Asok Kumar Chakrabarti appearing for the Petitioners informed the Court that upon complaining before Poice that their husbands are missing, the Police informed the Petitioners, Kalabati Mondal and her sister, that their husbands have converted to Islam. There was no response from the Police or the National Human Rights Commission to their complaints about their husbands' alleged forceful conversion.
The State Government submitted before the Court that the husbands of the Petitioner have left them because of family dispute and are presently residing at Pratappur, Malda. "The said two husbands, converted themselves to Islam voluntarily to Islam. They refused to return back to their residences", State submitted through Counsel Muhammad Galib.
The State also informed the High Court that upon complaint by one of the husbands, an FIR has been registered by Sections 363 (Kidnapping) and 365 of the IPC and the Petitioner No. 1 is the accused in that case. "....the husbands, Gouranga Mondal now known as Gousal Azam and Buddhu Mondal now known as Md. Ibrahim Sk, have deposed under Section 164 of the Cr.P.C. that they have voluntarily converted to the Islam", the Counsel told the Court.
"The petitioners have alleged that their husbands have been forced to convert to Islam by threat intimidation and/or under influence of drugs. It is also alleged that the forced conversion is a part of a punishment for supporting a rival political party", the Court noted.
The Court noted that despite the complaints of the Petitioners, the Police did not register an FIR.
The Court directed the CBI and the NIA, which were in the party array, to give their inputs in the case. "The other allegation of random forcible conversion, cross border infiltration, threats and intimidation, inter alia, by accumulation and storage of huge quantities of arms and ammunition and counterfeit currency may also be addressed", the Court directed.
The Court directed that the inputs may be given in the form of reports by way of affidavits. The Superintendent of Police, Malda, was directed to extend necessary cooperation to the NIA and the CBI in this regard.
The SP, Malda was directed to independently submit a detailed report by way of an affidavit, on the allegations of the Petitioners, the steps taken by the police, any preliminary enquiry report or any other vital information that will be necessary for the determination of the issues in the Writ Petition.
The Court also ordered the SP of Malda to review the security of the Petitioners and take immediate measures in view of the threats to the Petitioners.
The Court has kept the matter on June 21 for further consideration.