UP nod to draft ordinance against love jihad
The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday approved a draft ordinance against the religious conversion for the sake of love and marriage, as a result of which violators can be imprisoned for up to 10 years.
An official spokesperson informed that the state Cabinet had okayed the ordinance during its meeting in Lucknow chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Recently, BJP-led states including Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh have disclosed plans to bring laws to deal with alleged attempts to convert Hindu women to Islam for the sake of marriage, an act that Hindu activists call ‘love jihad’.
"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, Cabinet minister and UP government spokesperson Sidharth Nath Singh said.
He added that under the new law, violators can be awarded a jail term of one to five years, and a fine of Rs 15,000.
However, in case the woman is a minor or belongs to a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe, the jail term would range from three to 10 year, with a fine of Rs 25,000, he said.
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," Singh told reporters.
The minister said if anybody wants to change religion after marriage, he or she would be free to do so.
However, the district magistrate has to be informed about the decision two months in advance in a prescribed form, he said. The person can change religion once permission is granted.
Singh claimed that this will resolve law and order issues in the state.