Meerut: A woman's allegation that she was kidnapped, gang-raped and forced into religious conversion has led to tension in an area on the outskirts of Meerut town in Uttar Pradesh.
A heavy contingent of police has been posted around the Sarvana village, where there have been protests after a 20-year-old woman claimed she was kidnapped, forcibly converted and raped by the chief of her village, Nawab Khan, and five others.
The woman's family claims she was kidnapped on July 30 and kept in a madrasa in Muzaffarnagar for five days before she finally escaped.
She recorded her statement before a magistrate today.
The woman reportedly taught Hindi at a madrasa till she was removed recently, allegedly for being "irregular". Her mother alleges that she had been promised a job by her kidnappers.
Based on her complaint, Nawab Khan and two women who allegedly participated in her forced conversion have been arrested. Five others have not been caught.
The state's ruling Samajwadi Party is fighting to prevent a flare-up in the communally sensitive town 120 km from Saharanpur, where clashes between two communities left three dead and several injured just days ago.
The government is yet to recover from criticism of its handling of the Muzaffarnagar riots in September last year, in which 60 people were killed and 50,000 were displaced.
The BJP's Uttar Pradesh unit has called for a CBI probe into the Meerut incident and targeted the government for what it alleges is a rash of forced religious conversions in the region.
The Samajwadi Party criticized what it called attempts to stir communal trouble ahead of by-polls in a dozen assembly and Lok Sabha seats. "The accused have been held. Some political parties tried to give it a communal turn but were unsuccessful," said the party's Naresh Aggarwal.
Former chief minister Mayawati said, "SP should take this seriously. There should be a probe into this and people responsible should be tried under proper charges."