UP Clears Order To Check Forced Conversions Amid “Love Jihad” Row

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had invoked a Hindu funeral chant towards “love jihad” (File)


Amid livid nationwide debate over “love jihad” – the right-wing conspiracy principle that Muslim males enter into relationships with Hindu girls to forcibly convert them – the Uttar Pradesh authorities on Tuesday night handed an ordinance to examine pressured non secular conversions.

The ordinance comes lower than a month after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, whereas campaigning for UP Assembly bypolls, cited an Allahabad High Court order to invoke “Ram naam satya” – a Hindu funeral chant – to concern a thinly-veiled risk to “those who… play with our sisters’ respect”.

The Uttar Pradesh Unlawful Religious Conversion Prohibition Ordinance (2020) says non secular conversions that use falsehood, pressure or an incentive, or happen solely for the aim of marriage shall be declared against the law. Those who plan to transform after marriage, the federal government stated, must inform the District Magistrate of their intention at the least two months prematurely.

The burden of proof – that the conversion was not pressured or for marriage – shall be on the particular person changing, and all instances filed below the ordinance shall be non-bailable.

“Over 100 cases were before us where forcible conversion has taken place (and so) framing a law was necessary. Yogiji‘s cabinet has brought in an ordinance and there are many penal provisions,” Siddharth Nath Singh, a UP cupboard minister, stated.

According to the ordinance, pressured conversion (or conversion by fraud) shall be punished by as much as 5 years’ imprisonment or a high quality of Rs 15,000. If the pressured conversion entails a lady from the marginalised communities, then it will enhance to between three and 10 years’ jail and a high quality of Rs 25,000. Mass conversions will appeal to an analogous jail time period and a high quality of Rs 50,000.

Hours earlier than the ordinance was handed the Allahabad High Court, in its ultimate order in a big case, cancelled a case towards a Muslim man by the mother and father of his spouse, who transformed to Islam final yr to marry him.

“Interference in a personal relationship would constitute a serious encroachment into the right to freedom of choice of the two individuals,” the courtroom noticed, including, “The courts and the constitutional courts, in particular, are enjoined to uphold life and liberty of an individual guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.”

“We do not see Priyanka Kharwar and Salamat Ansari as Hindu and Muslim, rather as two grown-up individuals who – out of their own free will and choice – are living together peacefully and happily over a year,” the two-judge bench stated.

“Love jihad” is a pejorative utilized by right-wing teams to focus on relationships between Muslim males and Hindu girls, which, they are saying, is a ruse to forcibly convert the ladies. Relationships between Hindu males and Muslim girls are ignored.

It is a time period not recognised by the centre. In February, the Union Home Ministry instructed parliament that “love jihad is not defined in law” and no such case had been reported by central businesses.

That, nevertheless, has not stopped plenty of BJP-ruled states, together with Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana, from insisting they’ll push by “anti-love jihad” laws.

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