Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra
Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra
Facebook (Narottam Mishra)

BHOPAL: State Home minister Narottam Mishra on Tuesday announced that a Bill would be tabled against the practice of 'Love Jihad' in the next session of the Vidhan Sabha. The legislation would stipulate five years’ imprisonment for the practitioners.

Under the provisions, family members could also be penalised.

“We’re preparing to introduce the Madhya Pradesh Dharma Swantantra Bill in the Vidhan Sabha, possibly in the next session. The Bill will contain provisions for declaring all marriages happening forcibly, fraudulently or by luring someone into religious conversion, as null and void. All those, including those committing such an offence or aiding the committing of the offence, will be considered as prime accused and could face rigorous imprisonment up to five years,” said home minister Narottam Mishra while talking to reporters here on Tuesday.

“The offence (marrying fraudulently, forcibly or by luring someone for religious conversion) will be made a cognizable and non-bailable offence,” Mishra added.

Another provisions will make it mandatory to notify the district collector concerned in advance before formalising an inter-faith marriage. A few days back chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had hinted at legal provisions against ‘Love Jihad.’

The issue hogged headlines recently after a student, Nikita Tomar (21), was shot outside her college in Ballabgarh town of Haryana. The family of the victim has alleged that the accused was pressurizing her to convert to Islam and marry him. Already, three other BJP-ruled states, including UP, Haryana and Karnataka, have at a law against the social menace.

On November 6, Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa had said that constitutional experts were being consulted for bringing a law against religious conversion in the name of ‘Love Jihad.’

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