Lucknow: Families of the Lucknow interfaith couple, prevented by police from getting married Wednesday, have now decided to secure the required permission letter from the office of the district magistrate concerned.
Ashif Sheikh alias Moinis, the brother of the groom, told the media Friday that both families had consented to the marriage but did not know about all the approvals required under the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020, which was recently promulgated in the state.
“Our families are ready for the marriage but didn’t have an idea about the provisions,” Sheikh said. “I was in Faizabad due to some work on Wednesday but now I have spoken to police officers and have given it in writing that we will go to the DM’s office for the required permission. We respect the law and the marriage will be conducted accordingly. Both families are ready.”
The bride’s father Vijay Gupta refused to provide any details, saying “it is a personal issue and we will resolve it”.
The Lucknow police had Wednesday intervened in the wedding of Mohammad Adil, 24, a pharmacist, to Raina Gupta, 22, a postgraduate in chemistry, following complaints from some fringe Hindu outfits. The police showed up on the day of the wedding when the families were preparing for the rituals.
The couple refused to comment on the matter.
According to Triloki Singh, SHO of Para police station, Brijesh Shukla, district chief of the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha, had submitted a complaint letter regarding the wedding. No FIR was lodged as both families agreed to postpone the wedding until they received the DM’s permission, he added.
There was possibility of conversion: Lucknow police
The Lucknow police claimed that there was a possibility of conversion taking place after thr wedding.
“The wedding was taking place with the consent of both families. Both the bride and the groom had known each other for 4-5 years but we got to know through our sources that there were possibilities of conversion,” Additional DCP (South Zone) Suresh Chandra Rawat said. “So the families were asked to follow due process for interfaith marriage, and were also told about the new ordinance to check religious conversions by force, allurement, etc.”
The DCP, however, maintained that the police acted on a tip-off from their sources and not due to the complaint filed by the Hindu outfit.
Shukla, the Mahasabha district chief, meanwhile told ThePrint that there had been pressure on the bride’s family to accept the marriage.
“The groom and his family pressured the father of the woman to give his consent to the marriage. That is why we have raised the issue and gave our complaint to the local thana,” he said. “The groom ‘brainwashed’ the bride’s poor family and made them agree to the marriage. They will also forcefully convert the Hindu girl, which is unlawful.”
UP Governor Anandiben Patel last week promulgated the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020.
The ordinance provides for harsh provisions such as imprisonment of 1-10 years and a fine of Rs 15,000 to Rs 50,000 under different categories, if anyone is found guilty of forcefully converting another individual.
It also says if the woman’s religion is changed for marriage, not only will such marriage be declared invalid but those who help in conversion will also be punished.
The ordinance also states that lying, greed, or any other fraudulent way or conversion to marriage is a non-bailable offence.
The earliest that Raina and Asif can now marry is two months from the date of the notice being served, according to new law.