Five Indian police officers were recently sentenced to life imprisonment and received fines for the murder of a Muslim couple in Calcutta.
The Calcutta Additional Sessions Judge, Mr. Sukumar Chakraborty, sentenced the officers after they were found guilty of murder, conspiracy, and destruction of evidence.
The charges stem from an investigation headed by the Central Bureau of Investigation, which led authorities to the conclusion that the police officers killed Lachimi Singh and his wife Renuka because they converted to Islam.
Lachimi was a Punjab police officer and had changed his name to Bashir Ahmed. Renuka changed her name to Sakina Begum. Both were gunned down on the evening of May 17, 1993 at point blank range.
Authorities believe the officers disposed the bodies and attempted to cover up the crime. To date, neither of their bodies has been recovered.
Persecutions of Muslim converts are common in India, a country that claims to be secular and democratic. In many cases, Muslim converts must move to a different city to insure their comfort and safety.
Some years back, an Upper Caste Hindu embraced Islam in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. Hindus targeted him and filed a false case of murder against him. He was put behind the bars but was eventually acquitted after a hearing.
The fact that justice was served in both incidents, India has yet to walk miles ahead. The government has failed to do justice among the people. The need of the hour is to make attempts so as to introduce federal democracy. This will ensure that all Indians may feel participation in the country's power structure.