LUCKNOW: The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh is set to bring an ordinance to check forced religious conversion even as several other BJP-governed states work on laws to check ‘love jihad‘. “The draft of the ordinance is almost ready and the chief minister has given his approval,” a source told TOI. “It might be promulgated soon,” he added.
The Allahabad high court had recently observed that “conversion just for the purpose of marriage is unacceptable”. Quoting the HC order during a bypoll rally in Jaunpur earlier this month, Yogi said that his government would not allow forced conversion of “daughters and sisters” in the name of marriage.
“Those indulging in such nefarious activities will face harshest punishment,” he said. Yogi was among the first BJP CMs to raise his voice against ‘love jihad’.
The state law commission had first submitted the draft of a proposed bill against forced conversion last year.
It had recommended a jail term between one and five years for the accused and imprisonment of two to seven years in case of forced conversion of SC/STs.
The commission had also recommended that both marriage and conversion be declared null and void if either of the parties is forced into changing religion for the purpose of matrimony. Eight states – Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand – already have anti-conversion laws.