Haryana sets up 3-member drafting committee to frame law on 'Love Jihad'

Even before the UP ordinance was cleared, Anil Vij had announced that a committee was being set up in Haryana to frame a new law
Last Updated 26 November 2020, 15:49 IST

After Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh took initiatives on legislation on "Love Jihad", Manohar Lal Khattar-led Haryana became the third BJP-ruled state to move forward on the contentious law, setting up a three-member committee to draft the law.

"A three-member drafting Committee formed to frame law on Love Jihad in Haryana," Vij tweeted informing that the panel will consist of state Home Secretary T L Satyaprakash, Additional Director General of Police Navdeep Singh Virk and Additional Advocate General Deepak Manchanda.

Home Minister, Haryana Anil Vij's announcement came three days after Yogi Adityanath government in UP cleared a draft ordinance against conversion for marriage. The UP draft law prescribed declaring null and void any such marriage and provide imprisonment up to 10 years for it called "dishonest" religious conversions including those for the sake of marriage if the woman is a minor.

Another BJP-ruled state Haryana passed a bill last year itself against conversion through a marriage solemnised for the sole purpose of adopting a new religion. The Haryana law could be broadly based on the Himachal pattern. The state government had earlier sought information from the neighbouring state on this count.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government in Madhya Pradesh is also proposing a jail term of 10 years for anyone found guilty of using marriage to force someone to change religion.

In Madhya Pradesh, Home Minister Narottam Mishra has asserted that such a law is the need of the hour and hence the state government has proposed a 10-year jail term for luring, threatening and forcing someone into marriage for religious conversion and five year jail term for gurus, priests, maulvis and kazis who will conduct such marriages year jail term , in the proposed Dharm Swatantrya (Religious Freedom) Bill 2020.

The UP law--- Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Illegal Conversion Ordinance, 2020--- prescribes that those wishing to change their religion after marriage need to apply to the district magistrate.

While Hindutva groups have been alleging for quite some time that Muslim youth are actively wooing Hindu girls into marriage for converting them into Islam, Congress has dismissed the 'Love Jihad' term as "manufactured".

In Haryana, the chorus for law against 'Love Jihad' had recieved a fillip after killing of a Hindu girl by a Muslim youth in broad daylight in October. While the victim's family alleged that the man was pressuring her to convert to Islam in order to marry him. Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) had alleged she was murdered by "Islamic jihadists''.

In UP, the Chief Minister had talked about the law on 'Love Jihad' last month in a public rally after the Allahabad High Court in a ruling declared that conversion for the sole purpose of marriage is not valid. Even in Assam, where polls are due next year, the BJP government has said it will start a strict fight against 'Love Jihad' if the party comes back to power again.

(Published 26 November 2020, 09:20 IST)

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