UP Governor gives nod to ‘Love Jihad’ law

New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel today gave assent to an ordinance against forcible or ‘dishonest’ religious conversions, officials said.

The Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020 has been promulgated with the approval of the Governor, they said.

Three days after the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet cleared the ordinance to bring in the Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance 2020 against what the BJP calls ‘love jihad’, the Governor promulgated the law, giving it a more definitive power.

Although the Ordinance nowhere uses the term ‘Love Jihad’, the BJP leaders have maintained that it is a law to prevent what they allege ‘rising cases of Hindu girls being lured through fraudulent ways into marriage by Muslim youths’.

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.

The Ordinance provides for a maximum of ten years imprisonment besides a fine of Rs 15,000 for violators.

In case of minor girls and women from SC and ST communities, the minimum imprisonment would be of two years while the maximum imprisonment will be for ten years besides a fine of Rs 25,000.

Three years of minimum and ten years of maximum imprisonment had been provided for mass religious conversion. A fine of Rs 50,000 would also be imposed on the offenders.