DEHRADUN: The Uttarakhand government is contemplating making the state’s anti-conversion law more stringent, providing for jail terms up to ten years and has sought a proposal to this effect from the state police chief. The Pushkar Singh Dhami government has sought the proposal, apprehending the worsening of communal amity amid demographic changes in some regions of the state. Uttarakhand Director General of Police Ashok Kumar on Saturday, October 9, 2021, said Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami recently asked the Police Department to put up a proposal for enacting a more stringent anti-conversion law.
Accordingly, the Police Department has forwarded a two-page proposal to the government to amend the state’s anti-conversion law on the line of that for Uttar Pradesh. He said the police has recommended to the government to make the acts of forcible religious conversion a cognisable offence with a sentence of a minimum three-year jail term to the maximum of 10 years along with a fine of Rs 25,000. He said the state’s current law on the issue makes the forcible conversion a non-cognisable offence requiring the complaint to file a complaint in a court seeking its directions to the police to register an FIR.
But the state’s new proposal seeks to make the forced religious conversion a cognisable offence, authorising police to lodge an FIR on its own without waiting for any court direction. Additional Chief Secretary Abhinav Kumar said that the police proposal is being examined currently. The government’s decision to tighten the anti-conversion law comes in the wake of an attack by miscreants at a church in Roorkee.