LUCKNOW: In the wake of the sudden spate in incidents of religious conversions in the name of 'love jihad' in Uttar Pradesh, the Yogi Adityanath government has moved to promulgate an ordinance against the menace soon.
In the recent past, Kanpur had witnessed a series of such cases during a fortnight pushing the state government to set up a special investigation team (SIT) headed by a district police official CO Vikas Pandey to probe into at least 14 cases wherein girls of one faith were trapped by men of other community by concealing their original identity through Facebook and other social media sites.
They would marry the girls and then force her to go for the religious conversion, according to complaints lodged in the district either by the victims themselves or their relatives.
The SIT has also been mandated to see if there is the role of any organisation or peer group working behind the curtains.
“The draft for anti-conversion law is in the final stages. The state home and law departments have studied the legislation already existing in eight states to frame the draft to be finalised for Uttar Pradesh,” confirmed a senior officer of the state’s law department.
At present, eight states have anti-conversion laws. They are Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Uttarakhand. Odisha was the first state to enact this law in 1967, followed by Madhya Pradesh in 1968. "UP could soon become the ninth state," says a law department source.
Taking into account a series of cases of love jihad in different parts of the state recently, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had also raised the issue during his two-day visit to Lucknow.
A similar incident had also come to light in Meerut recently, where a mother-daughter duo was killed and buried in the house by the person they had been living with. The local sources confirmed that the man was forcing both the women to convert to Islam to which they did not agree and paid with their life.
The anti-conversion laws in various states seek to prevent any person from converting or attempting to convert, either directly or otherwise, another person through 'forcible' or 'fraudulent' means, or by 'allurement' or 'inducement'. "The law in the pipeline for UP would be quite similar in nature which would
make religious conversions a complex and cumbersome procedure," says the source.