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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 08 May 2021 1.10 AM IST

Love Jihad: After MP and UP, Gujarat to bring anti-conversion law with five-year-jail term

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AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat government led by CM Vijay Rupani has proposed an amendment to the Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act, 2003 to bring more stringent punishment against forced religious conversions through marriage. The new law will invite a maximum jail term of seven years along with a penalty.

The proposed Gujarat ‘love jihad’ law comes along the lines of those in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and a few other states.

The amendment bill that was submitted in the Gujarat assembly on Tuesday seeks to prohibit and punish religious conversions promising better lifestyle, divine blessings and impersonation.

The new ‘love jihad’ law would invite a jail term of five years and Rs 2 lakh penalty on the forced conversion of young women. In case of a minor girl being converted, the punishment would go up to seven years in jail and Rs 3 lakh penalty.

Also, the religious conversion of women from the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe will also invite a jail term of seven years. The bill is likely to be tabled in the ongoing Budget session of the Gujarat assembly.

After Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh passed ordinances prohibiting forced religious conversion to check the so-called 'love jihad', Gujarat is also headed towards introducing a similar bill to punish those who forcefully convert women on the pretext of marriage.

The amendment to the Dharma Swatantrya (Religious Freedom) Bill, 2021, will be presented in the ongoing Budget session with certain changes to combat ‘love jihad’ or forced conversions.

The Religious Freedom Act was first brought in Gujarat in 2003 after which the first amendment was made in 2006. With the Dharma Swatantrya (Religious Freedom) Bill, 2021, the Gujarat government aims to expand the scope of the law and include “conversion by marriage” in its purview.

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TAGS: LOVE JIHAD LAW, INDIA, GUJARAT, UTTAR PRADESH, MADHYA PRADESH, VIJAY RUPANI, .GUJARAT FREEDOM OF RELIGION ACT, UTTARAKHAND
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