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After adopting the child, the illegal guardians made him undergo circumcision. They assaulted the boy and forcefully converted him to Islam, according to the police complaint.
Recently, a social media user posted the video of a child, where the child said he was beaten up almost every day by his guardians.
Ghaziabad police took cognisance of the case and traced the boy. It turned out that the boy, an orphan, was illegally adopted by a couple from Ghaziabad, who circumcised him to convert him to Islam and were abusing him.
A police case has been filed against the illegal guardians and some others, and the child has been sent to a government shelter home. Besides other charges, the accused have been booked under the Uttar Pradesh anti-forced conversion law.
The FIR
A first information report (number 718/2022) in this case was registered at Kavi Nagar police station of Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad district on 9 June 2022. The complaint was a police offer.
The officer, Yashpal Singh, said in his statement that on 8 June, after receiving information of alleged forced conversion from Twitter (a social media platform), he and two other policemen, namely Harish Tiwari and Sonu, went to plot number 283 in Lohar Mandi area.
There, they found a nine-year-old boy named Sonu, who said he was a resident of Rafiganj area that falls under Kapubigha police station in Aurangabad district of Bihar.
He said his father’s name was Mithlesh Yadav. On orders of the CWC (Child Welfare Committee), the minor was sent to the government shelter at Govindpuram.
Interrogation revealed that Sonu’s mother, Anshu, died in a train accident when he was quite young. Sonu has no memory of his father. After he was left an orphan, Sonu was looked after by his mother’s friend Soni, alias Kunni Devi, and her husband Mithlesh Yadav. The couple looked after the child till he was nine.
On 7 April 2022, with the help of a middleman named Zulfikar, who is a resident of village Loglah in Bulandshahr, the couple handed the child to another couple, named Babli and Umar Muhammad. The transfer was made by signing a Rs 50 stamp paper. Such an adoption procedure is illegal under the law.
After adopting the child, Zulfikar, Soni, and Umar made him undergo circumcision. They assaulted him and forcefully converted him to Islam, the complaint concludes. (Read the statement here.)
All the five adults have been booked under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 326 (causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapon), and 120-B (criminal conspiracy), along with sections 75 (abuse and assault of the child) and 80 (protection from sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2000, and sections 3 and 5 of the Uttar Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 2021.
Action
As per a press note shared by the police with the media, the lead suspect, Umar, was arrested on 10 June.
On 11 June, when Swarajya called up the police station, no officer answered the several calls made. Details of the case are as yet unclear. Swarajya will further report the details once accessed.
Ghaziabad police posted an update today (12 June) about the arrests of the two women, Kunti and Babli.
Though the social media user who uploaded the boy’s videos deleted them after the police took cognizance, parts of the video can be seen here and here.
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