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Marriages taking place forcefully for religious conversion by either fraud or cheating to be null and void: MP govt mulls on Religion Bill

Narottam Mishra has said that the government is preparing to introduce Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Bill, 2020 in Assembly which would provide for 5 years of rigorous imprisonment to the perpetrators.

After Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, the Madhya Pradesh government led by Shivraj Chouhan is also in no mood to spare the perpetrators who indulge in forceful religious conversion through fraudulent means under pretext of love. Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra has said that the government is preparing to introduce Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Bill, 2020 in Assembly which would provide for 5 years of rigorous imprisonment to the perpetrators who coerce vulnerable girls to convert their religion, either by allurements, force or fraudulent means.

He said that the government is also proposing that such crimes be declared a cognizable and non-bailable offence.

There will be provision to declare marriages taking place forcefully, out of fraud or by tempting someone, for religious conversion, null and void. Those assisting in committing this crime will also be considered a party to the crime. Under this, the person who has been converted, their parents/siblings will have to mandatorily file a complaint for action. The religious leader who is converting the person will have to inform District Magistrate one month in advance. We’ll introduce this Bill in the next session, added Narottam Mishra.

Earlier this month, the Madhya Pradesh government had hinted about bringing in a new law to check the menace of love jihad in the state. While speaking to the media in Bhopal, CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan had stated that the state government is contemplating legal provisions and considering appropriate legal provisions against the nefarious practice.

This is the third BJP-ruled State that has been considering such legislation. Prior to this, the States of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh Chief Ministers had made similar announcements.

Yogi Adityanath warned those involved in ‘love jihad’ to mend ways

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on October 31 had issued a stern warning to the miscreants indulging in so-called ‘love jihad’ by concealing their identities and entrapping girls and women for sexual and financial exploitation and later forcefully convert them to Islam. In September this year, the UP government had said that it is likely to promulgate an ordinance against forced religious conversions.

Haryana government to bring law against the crime

Similarly, the Haryana government has been mulling over introducing a law to deal with the cases of love jihad. The gruesome murder of a 21-year old college student named Nikita Tomar in broad daylight due to attempted love jihad in Mewat had necessitated Haryana Government to take some stringent action to stop the growing menace in the state.

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