Haryana ‘love jihad’ panel will study what other states did, says Anil Vij
The Haryana government has set up a three-member drafting committee which will frame laws on ‘love jihad’, home minister Anil Vij said on Thursday. The committee will also study the laws brought in by other states.
The committee comprises home secretary T L Satyaprakash (IAS), ADGP Navdeep Singh Virk (IPS) and Deepak Manchanda Additional Advocate General, Haryana.
Vij had on November 6 told the state assembly that the state government was deliberating on enacting a law to check forced religious conversions. Earlier in June, Chief Minister, ML Khattar had said that the state government has decided that a Right to Freedom of Religion Bill will be passed to stop forced conversions. During an interview with HT in July, the chief minister had said that there were complaints regarding forced conversions and marriages from many districts. “People are free to adopt any religion in an informed manner but using coercion, allurement to force religious conversions is a matter of concern. Such incidents vitiate the atmosphere of society. We are studying similar laws enacted by other states and will accordingly take a call,’’ Khattar had said.
On Tuesday, the Uttar Pradesh cabinet approved a draft ordinance which prescribes up to 10 years of imprisonment for those who are found guilty of religious conversion by marriage, coercion, deceit or enticement. Those wishing to change their religion after marriage need to apply to the district magistrate, according to the draft ordinance which would become law after its promulgation by the state Governor.The term ‘love jihad’ has not been mentioned.
Last week, Madhya Pradesh announced that it will bring in the next session of the assembly a bill to check incidents of “love jihad”.The new proposed law mentioned that conversion for marriage by force, fraud, lure or instigation would be punishable by a maximum jail term of five years. If such forced conversion is proved, then the marriage concerned shall be declared null and void and anyone who assisted or was a part of the conversion exercise shall be treated at par with the main accused, the proposed bill added.
Karnataka and Bihar are also mulling similar laws.
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