08/05/2014, 00.00
INDIA
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Young Hindu woman raped and forced to convert to Islam

by Nirmala Carvalho
The young woman, 20, managed to escape and file a complaint with police with the help of the family. An imam at a madrassa (Koranic school) where she worked as a part-time teacher was among her attackers. Christian leader tells AsiaNews that the event was "regrettable and alarming."

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - A 20-year-old Hindu woman was kidnapped, raped twice by several men, and forced to convert to Islam in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh.

After escaping from her captors two days ago, the victim had the courage to tell her family, who filed a complaint against four people: an imam, his wife, the Sarawa village leader - where everything started - and a man unidentified for now.

Until recently the victim - a college student - worked as a part-time teacher at a madrassa (Koranic school) in Sarawa. When imam Sataullah started to ask her to convert to Islam, promising in exchange a job in Dubai, the young woman quit.

On 23 July Sataullah and the village chief, Nawab, abducted her, forcing her to wear a veil. They took her to Harpur where they raped her. On 27 July, they let her go, warning her not to say anything.

She obeyed, but two days later, she was kidnapped again, taken to another madrassa in Meerut. Here she was forced to convert to Islam and was raped again.

On 30 July, she was moved to another Koranic school, this time in Muzaffarnagar, where she was locked up for three days. There, her father said, she found three other Hindu women converted to Islam by force and about to leave for Dubai.

Two days ago, on Sunday, she finally managed to escape and contact her parents.

For Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), what happened to the young woman is "regrettable, alarming and cause for great concern," especially "in consideration of recent events, like a demonstration in front of a mosque in Thondi, Tamil Nadu, by 26 young Muslims wearing black T-shirts with the emblem of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria."

The police investigation showed that none of them has direct or indirect ties with ISIS.

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