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UP woman hid Muslim boyfriend’s name to marry him. Now he’s in jail for ‘deceit, conversion’

It was just last month that Priya Verma of Kannauj got married to Taufiq with Hindu rituals, in the presence of her parents. Now he is in jail & she says no one's hearing her truth.

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Kannauj: Priya Verma (29), a teacher and a civil service aspirant from Kannauj’s Gursahaiganj, is angry but helpless.

It was just last month that she got married to Taufiq (32), her boyfriend of two years and a fellow civil service aspirant, with Hindu rituals, in the presence of her parents. But now they are apart — Taufiq is in jail under the Uttar Pradesh anti-conversion law, and she is at home, trying to resist her parents’ attempts to get her married again.

Taufiq and Priya got married by Hindu rituals on 10 December | By special arrangement
Taufiq and Priya got married by Hindu rituals on 10 December | By special arrangement

It wasn’t the consequence Priya had in mind when she introduced Taufiq to her parents as Rahul Verma, knowing they wouldn’t approve of her marriage to a Muslim. She insists she wasn’t misled. Priya says she had known his real identity when they got married at Lucknow on 10 December, that he never tried to convert her, and that he was ready to adopt Hinduism.  

But when the truth came out, things quickly got out of hand. 

Her family got to know about Taufiq’s real identity just two days after their marriage. 

Her brother posted their picture on Facebook, and local residents from Gursahaiganj soon reached her father Sarvesh Shukla, a tailor. They told him that “Rahul” was in fact Taufiq and that he lived barely a kilometre away from their house. 

A local BJP leader got involved and convinced Shukla that it was a case of “love jihad”. He told him that a police complaint should be filed in the matter. 

Priya was at her maternal home at the time for ‘fera’, a Hindu wedding ritual that requires daughters to visit their parents a day after their wedding. 

She was subsequently made to stay back at her parents’, and Taufiq put behind bars under sections of impersonation, cheating, marrying with fraudulent intention, malicious act intended to outrage religious feelings and sections 3 and 6 of the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition Of Unlawful Conversion Of Religion Ordinance, 2020.

While Section 3 of the law prohibits people from trying to convert someone by marriage, Section 6 says marriage done for the “sole purpose” of “unlawful conversion” or vice-versa will be null and void. 

Notably, the complaint on which the FIR is based says nothing of conversion. 

Asked about the case, police acknowledge that Priya knew Taufiq was Muslim but claim she herself gave a statement against him. However, Priya says she was under pressure from her parents to testify to their allegations. Reluctant to speak or discuss the details before her parents when ThePrint arrived at their home, she stepped aside to ask for this reporter’s phone number. 

Speaking to ThePrint on the phone later, she said she is desperate to reunite with her husband. “How can I get back to him?” she asked. 

Sarvesh Shukla, meanwhile, refuses to budge. As far as he is concerned, he said, the marriage never happened.


Also Read: The real threat in Yogi govt’s anti-conversion law lies in its ambiguity


‘He was ready to convert’

According to the FIR, accessed by ThePrint, Shukla’s complaint alleges that their family was misled by Taufiq and that Priya was “cajoled” into getting married to him. The FIR states that Taufiq introduced himself as Rahul and misled the family, but does not mention anything about him asking Priya to change her religion.

“He never asked me to change my religion. He was, in fact, ready to become a Hindu. We got married with Hindu rituals, isn’t that proof enough?” Priya said. 

Priya has a double MA in sociology and funded her higher education working as a junior teacher at a local school. She aspires to join the Indian Police Service (IPS) one day, and joining the civil services is a dream she shares with Taufiq.

“We planned to study together and crack the civil services. He got me all the books and always supported me. What did we know that lying about this (his religion) to my parents would land him in jail,” she said.

In the initial days of their courtship, Priya stated, Taufiq did lie to her about being Hindu but later told her the truth himself. 

“He hid it from me because he did not want to lose me. But it is untrue that he married me without telling me the truth,” she said.

When her family found out his religion, she added, she “kept telling my father that he should not file a complaint with police”. 

But local residents and Vinay, a former RSS member who is now the BJP’s regional head for Kanpur and Bundelkhand, insisted, and police got involved.


Also Read: How Special Marriage Act is condemning interfaith couples to UP-style anti-conversion laws


No statement to the magistrate

According to police, Taufiq’s arrest was made from near Gursahaiganj on 20 December.

“The woman had come to her home for a ritual. She was asked to stay back and a team went to Lucknow to arrest Taufiq. He may have got to know about the case against him, so he also left home,” said Raja Dinesh Singh, the station house officer for Gursahaiganj. “We then sent our teams and through surveillance arrested him from near Gursahaiganj.

“He was sent to judicial custody and is now in jail. In these cases, the woman’s statement is the evidence so that will become the basis of the case,” he added.

Singh admitted that Priya knew Taufiq’s identity. “The man initially lied to her but later told her that he was a Muslim. She knew his identity. But now since she has given a complaint, we will go by that statement,” he said.

In a departure from procedure, Priya’s statement to police has been recorded as her statement to the magistrate. Usually, in such cases, the victim gives a statement to the magistrate, under Section 164 of the CrPC, and that is considered evidence in court. The statement is important as it happens between the victim and the magistrate, with no police interference or presence. 

In this case, however, police took a written approval from Priya that her statement to police be considered her statement to the magistrate as well. 

SHO Singh sought to justify this decision.

“On 24 December, she was taken to the court and the case diary was also presented before the judge. The judge said that if the woman supports her statement to police recorded under Section 161, then that will be considered her 164 CrPC statement,” he said. “Since the woman said she supports whatever she told police in her statement, and since she is not a minor, it was considered as final,” he told ThePrint.

Priya, however, says she was under pressure from her parents.

“I tried telling police also that I knew Taufiq and no case should be registered but I was snubbed. Then there was pressure from everyone at home,” she said over the phone. “All I want is my husband to return. I want to go back home with him and live my life,” she added.

Priya said she went to jail to see Taufiq but was not allowed to speak to him. She saw him from a distance, she added, and returned.

Feeling helpless, Priya also sought help from this reporter. 

“How can I get my husband back? I was under pressure but I want to return to him somehow. I know police will not help me,” she said. “Despite my telling them the truth, they registered a case and put my husband behind bars,” she said. “Is there a way I can reach court and ask for relief?”


Also Read: UP Muslim man ‘elopes’ with a Hindu girl, police put 13 of his family in jail for ‘conspiracy’


Looking for a ‘suitable boy’

When ThePrint arrived at their home, Priya’s mother and father did not leave her side. Sarvesh Shukla said he now wants to get her married to a Hindu.

“This marriage never happened for us. We are now looking for a suitable Hindu boy for her to get her married,” he added. 

As soon as he made this statement, Priya broke in. “I will never get married again,” she said. “I am married,” she added, tears rolling down her eyes.

Shukla went on. “We were misled by Taufiq. When no one from his family turned up for the wedding, he told us that his family stays in Jaipur and that he has cut all ties with him,” he said. “Thank God we were helped by local BJP leaders and now that cheat is in jail,” he added.

BJP leader Verma said they decided to intervene when he got to know about this episode from their “network”.

“We were told that the woman did not know she was marrying a Muslim. He lied to her. When this episode was flagged to me, I got an initial inquiry done and found out that the man was indeed a Muslim and had married her by deceit,” he added. “I then went to the woman’s father and convinced him to get a police case registered against him.” 

Asked if he spoke to Priya, Verma said “no”.

“We spoke to the father. That was enough. The woman was not there that day. The father told me he had no knowledge of this man being a Muslim and that is enough to initiate a case,” he said.

Verma, however, added that he would not have had an issue with the marriage had the couple “followed proper procedure”.

“If he wanted to get married to her, he should have given a representation to the DM (district magistrate), waited for two months,” he said, referring to a provision under the anti-conversion law that requires couples seeking conversion to give two months’ notice to the district administration. 

“We would have had no objection if he had followed procedure and not cheated the family by hiding his identity. Religious deceit will not be tolerated at any cost,” he added.


Also Read: UP Muslim teen meets Dalit girl for ‘pizza outing’, lands in jail under anti-conversion law


 

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27 COMMENTS

  1. The problem is that the term ‘Love Jihad’ is so corny that it makes a lot of educated people turn away from the real issue. This particular case certainly involved major deceit by Tuafiq and I do not believe for a second that he would have converted into a Hindu after the wedding. In fact, if Priya’s family had not exposed Taufiq’s real identity, we can all be certain that very soon he would have started forcing Priya to convert to Islam. That is how their religion works.

    I am sure that Priya herself believed that Taufiq was a Hindu when they first started courting. Difficult to say when Priya herself found out the truth about the man but if she had fallen in love by then, it would explain her defending him later. Without sounding sexist, I have to say that women can be rather odd when in love and throw common sense out of the window.

    As for The Print, it is the typical bleeding heart liberal publication that drws its opinions from cuckoo-land. Never take it seriously.

  2. How many list you want dear. If you blind towards the truth that does not mean all is going good. It is a case of false identity whether you like it or not or what is the problem to follow proper procedure?

  3. A man lies to a woman about his religion. He does so because he clearly knows or at least feels that it would come it between their relationship. Once she falls in love, she is told the truth. By then it is too late. Both of them lie to her parents about his religion. The love starts on the basis of a deceit. It culminates also into marriage, also on the bedrock of a lie. If this is not love jihad, what else is?

    • Bro, list me cases of that happening. Please do. Because everything you said is simply false, as love jihad is not a real thing.

  4. Clear case of love jihad. Main question to ask is would the girl have had relationship with him if he initially introduced himself as Taufiq? Probably not.

  5. what I don’t understand is why the girl was so stupid. Why did she hide the truth from her parents? Yes they would not have agreed and the fuss would have been huge but now look at the even greater mess.
    And she is a teacher! Her intelligence leaves much to be desired.

    • It looks to me that she herself was not aware because he lied . Once married and disclosure came. What to do? Girl has been duped . In Hindu culture -even now marriage is considered sacrosanct . That is the reason she is defending him.

    • And she is a teacher! Her intelligence leaves much to be desired.–The Result of ” LOVE JIHAD “. That is why the Law in UP. The elopment /deceit /conversion is on High.No one talks.So YOGI acted on Time.

  6. It is always the Hindu girls fall in love with Muslim boys, but the opposite never happens. Muslim girls do not know what love is.

  7. The fact that Taufiq initially lied and posed as a Hindu is certainly a good enough reason for him to be in jail. Its really unfortunate that the nees item seems to be biased in his favour and against the girl’s parents.

  8. This report is an example of a news outlet trying to sensationalize a case where the existing law in the statute book has been clearly violated. Please don’t take me wrong. I’m not against inter-faith or inter-caste marriages. I also support the ultimate wishes of the wedding adult partners. However, here the statement that there wouldn’t have been an issue if the couple had “followed proper (legal) procedures” stands right.
    This case also reveals how weird are social dynamics of India where attempts are made to whitewash many lies and deceits.
    At first, Priya introduced Taufiq to her parents as Rahul Verma,, fearing her parents wouldn’t approve of her marriage to a Muslim, a big act of deceit by a daughter to her parents. Before that, while trying to court Priya, Taufiq also didn’t tell her his real identity. In Priya’s own words, Taufiq “did lie to her” about being Hindu but later told her the truth. “He hid it from me because he did not want to lose me,” Priya confesses.
    This is a classic illustration of alleged ‘Love Jihad,’ on the part of Taufiq (or, Rahul Verma!), the supporters of the U.P. Chief Minister would argue: first, win over the heart and mind of a girl in a romantic relationship through lies, marry her and then convert her religion. [Of course, in this case the conversion of the bride didn’t take place!]
    Another absurdity of the social dynamics of India is revealed here when two educated young people, the Indian Police Services aspirants, decided to ride rough shod over not only the social boundary, but also the legal boundaries. They thought laws didn’t exist for them. They should have understood that the best way to circumvent the complicated procedural cobweb was to wait out the suggested two months and get every thing legally on the table.
    I know the “progressives” would like the “lovers” to be given a free ride. Me too, but they know in many other countries also where there’s the rule of law, a marriage license has to be obtained before a wedding to streamline many issues.
    In India, unfortunately, any attempt on the part of the government to rational modernization of the system is subjected to partisan attacks and political blackmail. The “love-jihad” statutes may have certain extremes, but it also tries to address certain social anomalies that easily pass by as a norm and later on become a major source of trouble.

    • Dear Dr Prasad, Girl has been duped so what choice she has now . Why did the boy lied ab initio. Let us be very clear about it , marriage in Hindus is sacrosanct so she has to defend . Look at the boy, staying just one km away and lying to his in laws? He is total cheat . Where is the doubt ? How many Hindu boys get married to Muslim girls? Let us be honest about it , they will be killed . Love Jehad is real and has got approval from Muslim community . In a month how many cases have come to be reported. Did you get a Muslim girl being married to Hindu boy? Please see the bigger picture?

      • Points well taken. The Muslims, in general, keep a very tight circle around their girls and a wedding with parental consensus is extremely difficult, particularly in under-educated and un-enlightened sections of the community. In the West too cases abound in Muslim families where girls — who dared to marry or have a boy friend from different faith — have been murdered by their own family members. They call it ‘honor killing.’
        Another difference in the definition of marriage in the Hindu and the Muslim tradition is that in the former marriage is a ‘union’ of two individuals that could be broken up only upon death, whereas in the latter, marriage is a ‘contract.’ The Muslim man pledges certain ‘rakam’ (amount) at the time of ‘nikah’ that could be paid down to annul (or, to obtain a talaq) a marriage. The Muslim community, like in the Hindu society, has a long way to go to introduce and adopt social reforms: Among the Hindus reforms have always been discussed, fought for and implemented; among the Muslims, even a conversation on ‘reform’ is a taboo. They have to liberate themselves from the clutches of the Imams and the Mullahs.

  9. 1) What has happened is wrong. The couple should get married and the boy should keep his end of promise of converting to Hinduism.
    2) However if it was other way around. That is boy was Hindu and girl was muslim and then the boy wouldn’t ve been in jail but in grave.
    3) The problem is Hindus bring up their daughters with liberal approach to life and thus are more open minded when it comes to interfaith marriages. Whereas Muslim families teach their children/daughters more orthodox/radical approach to life so they are rigid and prejudiced against interfaith marriages.
    4) I don’t know how a girl brought up in an atmosphere with no restriction of wearing the kind of clothes or covering her face agrees to marry into a family where women are told to hide their face and where women are considered as lesser beings than men. Where women are not allowed to pray in the same palce as men?

    • Stop defending the indefensible. Seriously, Mouslems and Dindus are no different. Are you aware about the honour killings that Hindus do everyday, maybe I need to remind you of that UC lady who was murdered by her own brothers for marrying a LC guy.

  10. We must all come together to dismiss the myth of LOVE JIHAD.

    That a particular community indulges in LOVE JIHAD with family as well as religious leaders backing is a myth.

    THE only way to dispel the myth of LOVE JIHAD is information

    1) How many Muslims boys marry HINDU girls

    2) HOW MANY HINDU BOYS AND MUSLIM GIRLS GET MARRIED.

    3) How many conversion takes place from which religion to which religion.

    As human beings living in democracy and not some religion specific country it will show that their will be much similar things happening in both communities. Hence the myth will be destroyed.

    • If the girl has no problem marrying a Muslim then why do you have a problem?
      Are you saying that girls/women from Hindu family are (/ must be) a property of Hindutva-facists? just like how Islamic Arabs treat their women and how Nazi Germany treated German/White women?
      If this trend of Talibani Hindutva-nationalism grows then soon all liberal empowered Indian women would start migrating to western countries just like thousands of Arab women are feeling their home countries. Then what, like Saudi and North Korea, will you guys bring a new ordinance 2025 prohibiting Hindu women from migrating outside India. I have no doubt regarding the latter if these Hindutva-facists are in power.

      • She does have a problem marrying a muslim and Taufiq also knew it — that’s why he lied about his religion to her in the beginning. Ik bar commitment ho gaya aur ladki kay sath masti kar lee fir its at point of no-return and he then mentions his real name and religion. This guy will be in prison for 10 years I hope. I feel bad for the parents – and also a bit for the girl. Pehle sey he apne aap ko Musalman batana tha. Why lie? Clear case of love-jihad.

    • This is what those evade the special marriage act 1954 should be punished with. You don’t wanna be in jail then don’t evade the SPECIAL MARRIAGE ACT1 1954

    • How many list you want dear. If you blind towards the truth that does not mean all is going good. It is a case of false identity whether you like it or not or what is the problem to follow proper procedure?

  11. Wow this article got 30 mins of my life wasted for no reason.a typical case of jihad no wonder print would print this bias

    • Oh shut up. The girl said there was no deciet, there was no fooling, how you bhakts gonna call everything love jihad? This is a case of parents controlling the lives of their kids.

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