Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel on Saturday gave assent to an ordinance against forcible or "dishonest" religious conversions, an official said.
The Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020 has been promulgated with the approval of the Governor, the official said.
The state cabinet presided over by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had earlier this week approved the draft ordinance to curb forcible or "dishonest" religious conversions including those for the sake of marriage, which could land violators in jail for up to 10 years.
According to it, 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.
In recent weeks, BJP-run states like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh have revealed plans to enact laws to counter alleged attempts to convert Hindu women to Islam in the guise of marriage, which party leaders often refer to as "love jihad".
Responding to the development, Samajwadi Party (SP) MP from Moradabad ST Hasan advised Muslim boys to consider Hindu girls their 'sisters'. The MP was reacting to Yogi Adityanath cabinet's approval to draft an ordinance outlawing religious conversions by marriage and deceit. The cabinet's approval makes UP the first state to propose a law for regulating interfaith relationships.
ST Hasan called 'Love Jihad' a political stunt and asked Muslim boys to consider Hindu girls their 'sisters'. He said, "Love Jihad is a political stunt. In our country, people choose their life partners irrespective of religion. Hindus marry Muslims and vice versa. However, the numbers are very low. But if you dig deep into 'love jihad' cases, you would find that girls know that boys are Muslims. But due to societal pressure or internal issues in the family, they lie and it becomes a case of Love Jihad."