Police in northern India arrest 10 males underneath the brand new anti-conversion legislation
From Saurabh Sharma
LUCKNOW, India (Reuters) – Police in northern India have arrested 10 men for allegedly forcing women to change their religion after marriage. A new anti-conversion law was applied, popularly known as “Love Jihad”.
Last month, the state of Uttar Pradesh became the first Indian province to pass a law against forced or fraudulent religious conversions, imposing prison sentences for anyone who compels others to convert their beliefs or to induce them to convert through marriage.
The anti-conversion law does not name a religion, but critics call it Islamophobic because it was imposed solely with the aim of preventing the “love jihad” which stubborn Hindu groups describe as a conspiracy to convert gullible Hindu women to Islam by sharing them with Promises mislead love and marriage.
Officials in Uttar Pradesh, the country’s most populous state, said the law will help prevent fraudulent religious conversions and is intended to protect young women.
The federal government and the government of Uttar Pradesh are both controlled by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party.
Four senior police officers said 10 men were arrested last week from different parts of Uttar Pradesh based on separate criminal complaints from parents alleging their daughters were abducted by Muslim men.
“We are using the new law to arrest only those men who we have evidence that clearly is a forced religious conversion,” said a police officer on conditions of anonymity as he was not authorized to use the press to inform.
Under the new law, a man and woman of different religions are required to give the district judge two months’ notice before they get married, and they are given permission if there is no objection.
At least four other Indian states – Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka and Assam – have announced that they will introduce similar anti-conversion laws.
(Additional reporting and writing by Rupam Jain, editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan) OLUSWORLD Reuters US online report World News 20201207T101041 + 0000
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