The Uttar Pradesh government has passed a bill against 'Love Jihad'. The Unlawful Conversion bill has provisions that can land offenders in jail for upto five years. The law against forced religious conversions was approved days after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath issued a warning.
"The UP Cabinet has decided to introduce an ordinance against unlawful religious conversions," State Cabinet Minister Siddharth Nath Singh said.
Apart from the jail term, the ordinance also has provision of Rs 15,000 penalty for forceful religious conversion. For conversions of minors and women of SC/ST community, there will be a penalty of Rs 25,000 penalty and jail term, Singh said.
Earlier, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had declared his government would come out with a law to deal with ‘love jihad’ and used the Hindu funeral chant ‘Ram Naam Satya Hai’ to threaten those who don’t respect their daughters and sisters. "We will bring an effective law. It is my warning to those who play with the honour and dignity of sisters and daughters by hiding their real names and identities… If they do not mend their ways, their ‘Ram Naam Satya’ journey will start," Adityanath had addressing a public rally.
Several states, including Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Uttarakhand, already have in place “anti-conversion laws” that regulate religious conversion.
Earlier this week, the BJP governments in Madhya Pradesh and Haryana had announced to enact a law against 'love jihad'. The Shivraj Singh Chouhan government said that it will introduce Dharma Swatantrya (Religious Freedom) Bill 2020 in the next session of the state Assembly in view of the rising incidents of love jihad. State Home minister Narottam Mishra said that the proposed bill has a provision of a rigorous imprisonment for the period of five years for luring a person through fraud and forcing marriage by religious conversion. Such offence will be non-bailable.
The Haryana government had said that a committee will be setup to draft a strict law against the menance. State Home minister Anil Vij said that action will take place against any person who is found "indulging in religious conversion by pressuring, tempting someone or is involved in any kind of conspiracy or tries to do so in the name of love".