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Mayawati asks UP govt to reconsider its new anti-conversion law

The BSP president said that the ordinance on love jihad brought by the UP government in a hurry is full of doubts and apprehensions and added that there is neither any recognition nor acceptability to conversion through force or deceit in the country.

By: PTI | Lucknow | November 30, 2020 12:03:36 pm
BSP chief Mayawati

BSP president Mayawati on Monday asked the Uttar Pradesh government to reconsider the new anti-conversion law, saying it is full of “doubts and apprehensions”.

Her remarks come after Uttar Pradesh registered its first case under the new law in Bareilly district based on a complaint from the father of a young woman.

In a statement issued here on Sunday, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi said a case was registered on the complaint by Tikaram who accused a man — Uvaish Ahmed — of the same village of trying to convert his daughter through “allurement” (bahla-phuslaakar).

“The ordinance on love jihad brought by the UP government in a hurry is full of doubts and apprehensions. There is neither any recognition nor acceptability to conversion through force or deceit in the country. There are many laws already effective in this regard. The government needs to reconsider the new law,” Mayawati said in a tweet in Hindi.

“Love jihad” is a derogatory coinage used by right-wing activists to refer to the alleged campaign of Muslims forcing Hindu girls to convert in the guise of love.

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav has already said that his party will oppose the state government’s bill on religious conversions when placed in the assembly for passage.

Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel on Saturday gave assent to an ordinance against forcible or fraudulent religious conversions that provides for imprisonment up to 10 years and a maximum fine of Rs 50,000 under different categories.

The promulgation of the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020, came four days after the Yogi Adityanath government approved the draft of the legislation which also curbs religious conversions only for the sake of marriage.

Under the law which deals with different categories of offences, a marriage will be declared “null and void” if the conversion of a woman is solely for that purpose, and those wishing to change their religion after marriage need to apply to the district magistrate.

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