Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday directed senior officials of the state Home Department to make a strategy to stop incidents of “love jihad”, after several such cases were reported from different parts of the state.
Love jihad is a terminology used by Hindutva groups to describe inter-religious marriages. The claim includes conversion of the woman – either by force or duplicity – to marry a Muslim man.
According to officials, the direction came on the back of multiple incidents reported from Kanpur, Meerut, and a recent one in Lakhimpur Kheri, where the police claim there is evidence that the women were being forced to convert and marry
“There are increasing cases of love jihad being reported from different parts of the state. Thus the Chief Minister instructed senior Home Department officials to prepare a plan to stop such incidents,” Mrityunjay Kumar, media adviser to Adityanath, said.
He said officials have been told to prepare a strategy and see whether a new law is needed.
Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Awaneesh Kumar Awasthi, who was part of the meeting, said: “This is a social issue. To stop it, they would have to be taken seriously – action needs to be taken against the accused, and we have to be harsh. These days, social media is available everywhere and it goes into the mind of others as well”
Awasthi said while things will be worked out, other issues being looked into is to make possible fast-track hearing of such cases. “The accused should not be allowed to get bail; then the woman’s family should be given monetary help, etc,” he said.
Asked if a new law will be brought in, Awasthi said that as of now the existing law would suffice, but it needs to be implemented properly.