The Uttar Pradesh government has brought in new law to curb rising ‘love jihad’ cases
The UP cabinet has approved a new law-prohibiting
unlawful religious conversion through marriages
The Yogi government has introduced a new law to curb rising cases of love jihad where gullible Hindu girls are trapped in fraudulent marriages for converting them into Islam. As per the new law, violators can get 10 years in jail. The UP government has said that this law aims to prohibit religious conversion done using dishonest means like false representation, through force, influence, torture, allurement or for the sake of marriage.
“Those getting the conversion done in violation of the provisions of the proposed law would have to face a jail term of up to 10 years,” said a government statement. If it is found that the conversion is done “forcibly, through atrocity or cheating”, the offence will be non-bailable.
According to the “Uttar Pradesh VidhiVirudh Dharma SamparivartanPratishedhAdyadesh 2020” (prohibition of unlawful religious conversion), a marriage will be declared “shunya” (null and void) if the “sole intention” was to “change a girl’s religion”.
“The Cabinet has taken a big decision… it was necessary for maintaining normal law and order in the state and to ensure justice for women, especially those from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes,” said Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Minister Sidharth Nath Singh. “More than 100 cases of forcible conversions have come to light. The way in which religious conversions are done using deceit, lies, force and dishonesty is heart-wrenching, and it was necessary to have a law in this regard,” he added.
“If someone wants to convert their religion after marriage, an application will have to be submitted to the district magistrate two months in advance. The conversion can take place if permission is granted,” he further added.
"We saw that the religious conversions were part of 'love jihad' conspiracy. There is a big conspiracy behind these conversions which was unravelled by our security agencies," said UP Minister MohsinRaza said.
Giriraj Singh calls Love Jihad a ‘Cancer for Social Harmony’
Union Minister Giriraj Singh said that ‘Love Jihad’ has become a cancer for social harmony and demanded Bihar government bring law against this like many other states. "I think love jihad has become a cancer for social harmony today. Now many states are enacting laws for it. Bihar too needs to work on this for social harmony without calling it communalism," the minister said. There are multiple cases of Love Jihad and forceful conversion in the name of inter-religious marriages being reported from various parts of the nation.
Earlier, Maharashtra cabinet minister Aslam Sheikh while criticising various BJP ruled states for bringing law against love jihad had said that “the governments, which want to hide their inadequacies brings such laws”. His statement was later endorsed by Shiv Sena leader PriyankaChaturvedi who reflected Shiv Sena’s betrayal of Hindutva for remaining in power. She had tweeted, “Who women marry will be decided by law, not for love. I learnt that Indian women are incapable of knowing who they love, trust, how to safeguard their interests, make a choice. Hence the government will make a law to decide for them”.
Giriraj Singh’s statement comes at a point when Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adithyanath had announced that his government would bring strong laws to curb Love Jihad in the state. Another BJP rules state, Madhya Pradesh, is also mulling to bring similar kind of law against Love Jihad.
In the case of mass conversions, the punishment is from three years to 10 years and a fine of Rs 50,000 on the organisations which indulge in it. If anyone wants to change their religion after marriage, they can do so. But the district magistrate has to be informed two months in advance on a prescribed form, and the person can convert once the permission is granted.
Kerala Bishop tenders apology
Bishop Mar Mathew Vaniyakizhakkelissued a public apology for attending a marriage involving a Muslim boy and Christian girl in a church. The marriage was held at St. Joseph Church in Kochi on November 9. The photo of Bishop standing with the newly wedded couple went viral on social media. This had triggered controversy in the Christian community. In response, Bishop Mathew said that he attended the marriage due to his proximity to the bride’s family.
Usually, when inter-religious marriages are held at a Church, related customs are kept simple. The Church laws do not allow Priests of Bishop Mathew’s stature to take part in such marriages. Thus his participation is a gross violation of the canonical laws. Kerala Catholic Bishop Council has come out against Bishop Mathew for attending this Love Jihad marriage. Cardinal Mar Alencherry has ordered an inquiry into the matter. There are multiple incidents of Christian girls falling prey to love Jihad in Kerala.
Kanpur SIT finds 11 cases of Love Jihad
The Special Investigation Team formed by the U.P government to prove into the Love Jihad cases in the state has found Love Jihad angle in 11 out of 14 cases it probed. In three of these cases, Muslim men used fake names to hide their religion to lure girls. The accused in all these 11 cases are behind bars now. Four Muslim men who are accused in Love Jihad were found to be in touch with each other. These findings prove that there are systematic efforts from the part of Romeo-Jihadists to convert Hindu women in the name of love.
National General Secretary of BJP Kailash Vijayvargiya on November 22, 2020 said that that law was targeted at inter-religion marriages with the intention or conspiracy to convert religion. He also said at a press conference that "We need to understand the definition of it (love jihad). The law is being made against the conspiracy behind the inter-religion marriages. Love is Sanatan and effortless; it does not see religion or a caste. But if someone loves and marries another person with a plan or intention to convert their religion, this law is from them”.