Amid the uproar over 'love jihad', Madhya Pradesh cabinet minister Arvind Bhadoria on Thursday said love jihad and religious conversions were being funded by foreign countries and termed it a conspiracy against India.
"Love-Jihad and religious conversions are being funded by foreign countries. It's a big conspiracy against India. Targets are given saying they will give money to marry Hindu girls. There should be a detailed probe by Home Ministry into such funding and action should be taken against culprits," Arvind Bhadoria told ANI.
"Madhya Pradesh government is bringing a strict law on 'Love Jihad'. The women who were exploited in the garb of it and abandoned later should be rehabilitated. Unless strong laws are not brought the menace of Love Jihad will continue," he added.
Madhya Pradesh government has proposed a maximum punishment of 10 years for so-called 'Love Jihad'-related offences, in its new ordinance. With this, the state government has doubled the jail term in its proposed Freedom of Religion Bill 2020. It had earlier proposed a five-year jail term.
Under this new proposed ordinance, there will be a provision of punishment of up to 5 years for the religious leaders, Qazi or Maulvi who have preformed religious conversion before submitting the application. The complaint of conversion and forced marriage can be made by the victim, parents, family or guardian.
While addressing a public rally in Umaria district on Wednesday, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had said: I will not allow 'Love-Jihad' on the soil of Madhya Pradesh at any cost.
A day earlier, Yogi Adityanath Cabinet cleared the UP Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance, proposing a maximum punishment of 10 years for 'love jihad'-related offences.
The Union Home Ministry on February 4 this year clarified that the term 'love jihad' is not defined under the existing laws and no such case has been reported so far. No such case was reported by any of the central agencies yet.
However, two cases from Kerala involving inter-faith marriages have been investigated by the National Investigation Agency, according to the Home Ministry.
(With inputs from agencies)