Bhopal, November 17
The BJP government in Madhya Pradesh is planning to 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 here on Tuesday.
The bill proposes a rigorous imprisonment for the period of five years for luring a person through fraud and forcing marriage by religious conversion, he told reporters and added that such offence will be non-bailable.
Other (proposed) provisions include making it mandatory for kin of the person being forced to convert to other faith for the purpose of marriage to file a complaint.
“The Madhya Pradesh government is working on bringing ‘Dharma Swatantrya Bill’ 2020 in the state assembly with a provision for a five-year rigorous imprisonment for luring a person through fraud and forcing marriage by religious conversion by making it a cognisable and non-bailable offence.
Such incidents are on the rise, which you call ‘love jihad’,” the home minister told reporters.
The bill will also have a provision to declare such marriages null and void, the minister said.
Besides, those assisting in such acts will be made co-accused, he added.
“It will be compulsory for family members of the person who is forced to convert for marriage, including his/her parents, brothers and sisters, to file a complaint on the matter,” Mishra said.
It will be mandatory for the person who is being converted for marriage, and religious persons involved, to inform the district magistrate concerned a month in advance about their decision, the minister said.
The bill will be tabled in the next session of the Legislative Assembly, he added.
BJP-ruled Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka are also mulling over bringing a law against religious conversion in the name of “love jihad”, a term coined by right wing outfits opposing inter-faith marriages. PTI
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