Thirteen members of a Muslim family in Baghpat have converted to Hinduism asserting that they were not getting justice for the murder of a family member.
A Muslim man from Bhagpat has alleged mistreatment by police saying they are treating his son’s ‘unnatural death’ as suicide and not a murder.
Akhtar, a resident of Badarkha village under Chhaprauli police station area, embraced Hinduism Monday along with family members and subsequently submitted an affidavit to the area sub-divisional magistrate, testifying to their voluntary change of religion, officials said.
Akhtar told reporters on Tuesday he felt the religion change might spur police to “properly investigate his son’s murder”.
“This was not an inter-faith matter. The accused are also Muslims but we got no justice because we are Muslims. The family, therefore, decided to convert to Hinduism and there is no pressure on us for conversion,” said Akhtar Ali.
Baghpat District Magistrate Rishirendra Kumar confirmed the incident and said the family members changed their religion as they were not satisfied with the police probe into the death of Akhtar’s son a few months ago.
According to media reports, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) organised a ‘havan’ in their village on Tuesday to complete the conversion process of the family. The family members were also given Hindu names.
Yuva Hindu Vahini (Bharat) state chief Shaukendra Khokhar said on Tuesday Akhtar was upset after his son Gulhasan was “murdered”.
“Gulhasan’s body, however, was hanged to make it appear a suicide,” he said.
Despite repeated assertions by the youth’s family that he was murdered, the police concluded it to be a case of suicide, he said.
Khokhar said Akhtar’s family sought help from the members of their own community but they were “not very forthcoming and did not help them much”.
This prompted Akhtar and his family members to change their religion, he added.
The family members wrapped saffron robes around their shoulders and chanted “Jai Shri Ram”, he said. They also got their names changed, he added.
SP Shailesh Kumar Pandey said he received information about some members of the Muslim community changing their religion. “The matter is being looked into,” he said.
(With agency inputs)