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Indian Girls Convert To Islam by Dr Zakir Naik













MUMBAI: A 21-year-old girl from Malwani who decided to convert to
Islam has alleged to the State Minorities’ Commission that the local
police gave her a tough time for her decision.

Sarah Sawant was so swayed by a conference addressed by hardliner Dr
Zakir Naik in November last year that she decided to take up Islamic
studies and become a cleric. Anticipating trouble from her parents after
she decided to turn Muslim, Sawant on April 27 filed an application
with the Malwani police, stating that there was no pressure on her from
anyone—she was converting of her own accord and would live

separately
from her family.

“After I submitted my application, investigating officer Vikas Lokre
told me it would take at least 10 days for it to come into force,”
Sawant told TOI. “The next day, I had to go to the police station to get
my statement recorded. When I went in the morning, I was asked to come
back in the evening. After reaching the police station at 6 pm, I was
asked to wait till 7.30 pm since Lokre had not arrived. During this
time, I was made to sit on the floor of the ladies’ room like a
criminal. A woman constable even said that if the formalities were going
to take time, I would be locked up inside the ladies’ room for the
night, since she had to leave for patrolling duty.”

Sawant said that after officers recorded her statement, they summoned
her parents to the police station. “My family started verbally abusing
and slapping me but the police did not do anything to stop them,” she
said.

According to Sawant, the police kept insisting that she submit her
present address in writing. “I had been receiving threat calls from my
family. Even a male friend who helped me move into a new place was being
harassed by my family members, one of whom is in the police force. I
had given the police a Hyderabad address where I intended to study. But
they found out that I hadn’t moved to Hyderabad yet and then started
pressurising me to submit my Mumbai address,” she said.

When contacted, senior inspector Jaywant Hargude of the Malwani
police station denied that Sawant had been harassed by the cops in any
way. “Sawant’s parents had written to the crime branch, concerned about
her safety.

We summoned them to the police station so that they could have a
face-to-face discussion with their daughter and she could explain to
them her decision of converting to another faith and moving out to a new
place. She was not beaten inside the police station. In fact, our
officers even escorted her till Malad in an auto afterwards. We were
only asking her to submit her address, so that we would know where to
contact her if any inquiries were to be made in future,” Hargude said.

Abraham Mathai, vice-chairman of the State Minorities Commission
said, “The Indian Constitution gives every citizen the liberty to choose
and profess any faith persuasion of his/her choice, once he/she is a
major. Any interference would be an infringement of constitutional
rights.” END.

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