Court orders release of 2 brothers held under anti-conversion law

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Moradabad (UP), Dec 19 (PTI) A court in Uttar Pradesh's Moradabad district has ordered the release of two brothers who were arrested earlier this month under the anti-conversion law, an official said on Saturday.

The Muslim man and his brother were arrested on December 4 when he visited the registrar's office to record his marriage to a Hindu woman, whose family filed a complaint. A video purportedly showed Bajrang Dal activists asking the couple if the woman had given notice to the district magistrate over her intention to change her religion, a requirement under the new ordinance.

The Kanth police had submitted a report that it could not find evidence of the case after Pinki denied the allegations of forceful conversion by Rashid and his brother Salim, following which the chief judicial magistrate ordered the release of the brothers from jail, prosecuting officer Amar Tiwari said.

The jailor of the district jail, Manish, said they had received the releasing order and the two would be be released later in the day.

The recently promulgated Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance nullifies marriages if they are carried out for the sole purpose of religious conversion. The punishment can extend up to 10 years if a minor is involved. PTI CORR HMB