Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday issued a stern warning to the miscreants indulging in love jihad by concealing their identities and entrapping girls and women in their relationship. Promising to curb the love jihad menace, Yogi assured that a new law will be enacted and advised the errants to mend their ways or be prepared for their “Ram Naam Satya” journey.
“Allahabad HC said religious conversion isn’t necessary for marriage. Govt will also work to curb ‘Love-Jihad’, we’ll make a law. I warn those who conceal identity & play with our sisters’ respect, if you don’t mend your ways your ‘Ram Naam satya’ journey will begin,” Yogi said at a meeting Uttar Pradesh’s Jaunpur.
#WATCH Allahabad HC said religious conversion isn’t necessary for marriage. Govt will also work to curb ‘Love-Jihad’, we’ll make a law. I warn those who conceal identity & play with our sisters’ respect, if you don’t mend your ways your ‘Ram naam satya’ journey will begin: UP CM pic.twitter.com/7Ddhz15inS— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) October 31, 2020
Yogi’s remarks came on the heels of the Allahabad High Court order which invalidated religious conversion just for the sake of marriage. The court made the comments after finding that a woman had converted her religion just a month before her marriage and performed her wedding ceremonies and rituals as per her newly adopted faith. On Friday, the Allahabad High Court held that conversion of religion just for the purpose of marriage is not legal.
Menace of ‘love jihad’ continues to afflict Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh is plagued with a rising number of ‘love jihad’ cases where Muslim men deliberately conceal their religious identities, often by portraying themselves as non-Muslims, and lure unwitting non-Muslim women into having a relationship with them and subsequently marrying them. On most occasions, the girl is later harassed or killed when she confronts the man for hiding his religion. Sometimes, the women are also forced to convert to Islam, failing which they are tortured.
With the increasing spate of love jihad cases emanating from Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath has decided to root out the menace, by bringing a law that criminalises ‘love jihad’. Last month, it was speculated that the Uttar Pradesh government is mulling over passing an ordinance against forced religious conversions in the backdrop of more than 20 love jihad cases being reported from various parts of the state.
The law against religious conversions serves to prevent people from converting others, either by ‘allurements’, ‘force’ or ‘fraudulent’ means. The UP’s law would be similar in nature to the laws enacted by other states, making religious conversions arduous and complex, the source privy to the details of ordinance had then revealed.
Kanpur amongst the worst-affected city due to love-jihad
While cases of love jihad have been reported across the state, Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur has been emerging as the epicentre of ‘organised love jihad’ cases. There have been several cases of forced conversions of women on the pretext of marriage reported from the city that it has fuelled suspicions about a new model of entrapping Hindu women gaining a foothold in the city.
Following the much-publicised Shalini Yadav case, another case of ‘love jihad’ had come to the fore. A Hindu family had lodged a complaint at the local police station in Govind Nagar, Kanpur, accusing a Muslim youth named Asif Shah alias Nafiz of brainwashing their daughter with the help of occult practices, physically abusing her, threatening and intimidating her to convert into Islam and marry her.
Similarly, one more ‘love jihad’ case was reported recently, where a 14-year-old Hindu girl was allegedly trapped by a Muslin youth pretending to be Hindu. The incident was reported in Kanpur’s Gopal Nagar. The victim’s family, with the help of Bajrang Dal State Secretary Ramji Tiwari, approached the police on Monday with a complaint and sought action against the accused- Fateh Khan alias Aryan Mehrotra.
Earlier in September 2020, the Kanpur Police had formed an eight-member Special Investigation Team(SIT) to investigate the rising number of forced conversions done on the pretext of marriage. As many as 11 cases of ‘love jihad’ had come to light from the same district in the span of 30 days.