BHOPAL – After the BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh government’s approval of ‘love jihad’ ordinance, Madhya Pradesh government has decided to extend the provision of five years of rigorous imprisonment to ten years, against those involved in forceful religious conversion and marriage by lure or fraud.
State home minister Narottam Mishra said that a draft has been prepared on the law against “love jihad’ or `MP Freedom of Religion Bill-2020′ which is likely to be approved in the state cabinet and tabled during the winter session of the assembly slated to begin from December 28.
“We have prepared a draft to finalise the proposals and decided to extend the rigorous imprisonment up to ten years against those involved in forceful religious conversion and marriage by lure or fraud under the `Madhya Pradesh Dharma Swatantrya Vidheyak-2020′. Increasing punishment to ten years will not help the accused get bail from the police station. We have also proposed that such crimes be declared a cognizable and non-bailable offence,” Mishra was quoted by Times of India as saying on Wednesday.
The BJP minister said that the draft will come for discussion in the cabinet during the second week of December and presented in the state assembly to make a law in the winter session so as to curb such incidents at the earliest possible. He said a meeting with top officials of the home department including the principal secretary and director general of police (DGP), has proposed four to five stricter provisions to check crime in the name of religious conversions.
“Since the governor has approved to convene the winter session of assembly, the government has decided not to pass an ordinance but to table the bill in the assembly to bring an act. There are provisions made in the new law in addition to Section 493 of the IPC which proposes action against forced marriages,” said Mishra.
“We will not allow `love jihad’ on the land of Madhya Pradesh,” said MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Umaria on Wednesday.