The Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government in Madhya Pradesh will soon introduce ‘love jihad’ Bill in the state assembly and it will have a provision of five years imprisonment for violators, Home Minister Narottam Mishra said on Tuesday (November 17).
“Cases will be registered under non-bailable sections… The collaborator will also be the culprit like the main accused. For voluntary conversion for marriage, it will be mandatory to apply to the collector a month in advance,” Mishra was quoted as saying in the media.
“Jihad will not be permitted in the name of love at any cost in the state. Necessary legal provisions will be made against love jihad,” Chief Minister Chouhan had said earlier.
In recent times, BJP ruled states have spoken about bringing in a law against ‘love jihad.’ Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had sent out a warning using 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 said.
“The posters of those involved in love jihad will be put on all road crossings,” Adityanath said, sending out a warning against interfaith marriages.
Earlier this month, citing the recent murder of a student in Faridabad’s Ballabhgarh, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said the incident is being linked to ‘love jihad.’
Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij had tweeted saying that the state government “is contemplating a law against love jihad”.
हरियाणा में लव जेहाद के खिलाफ कानून बनाने पर विचार किया जा रहा है ।
— ANIL VIJ MINISTER HARYANA (@anilvijminister) November 1, 2020
Khattar had said on November 1, “This (Ballabhgarh) incident needs to be strongly condemned. This incident is being seen linked with the love jihad issue… both the Centre and the state government are taking the love jihad issue very seriously.”
“The Centre and the state government are looking into this issue and legal advice is being taken so that such incidents are not repeated. Legal provisions are being contemplated so that the guilty cannot escape and no innocent person is punished,” he added.
The BJP government in Karnataka too had said it will ban ‘love jihad’ in the state. “Already, I have discussed with our senior officers and within two to three days we are going to take a decision, I want to ban that in Karnataka,” Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said in Bengaluru on November 6.
“Young girls of the state are being lured in the name of love and money and are being converted to other religions, we have considered it seriously. After thorough review, we will take a strong measure,” Yediyurappa said, while addressing the BJP state executive meeting in Mangaluru, November 5.
He added, “In recent days, there are media reports about religious conversion in the name of love jihad in Karnataka. I have discussed this with officials before coming here. What other states have done or not done is a different matter, but in Karnataka we will have to put an end to it.”
“On lines of Allahabad High Court’s order, Karnataka will enact a law banning religious conversions for the sake of marriage. We will not remain silent when Jihadis strip the dignity of Our Sisters. Any one involved in the act of conversion shall face severe & swift punishment (sic),” BJP national general secretary C.T. Ravi tweeted on November 3.
On lines of Allahabad High Court’s order, Karnataka will enact a law banning religious conversions for the sake of marriage.
We will not remain silent when Jihadis strip the dignity of Our Sisters.
Any one involved in the act of conversion shall face severe & swift punishment.
— C T Ravi 🇮🇳 ಸಿ ಟಿ ರವಿ (@CTRavi_BJP) November 3, 2020
In February this year, the Centre informed the Parliament that the term “love jihad” is not defined under the extant of laws and no case of “love jihad” has been reported by any of the central agencies.
Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said the Article 25 of the Constitution provides for the freedom to profess, practice and propagate religion subject to public order, morality and health.
Various courts, including the Kerala High Court, have upheld this view.
“The term ‘love Jihad’ is not defined under the extant laws. No such case of ‘Love Jihad’ has been reported by any of the central agencies,” he said in reply to a written question.
The minister, however, said two cases from Kerala involving inter-faith marriage have been probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
(With inputs from PTI)