Uttar Pradesh passes contentious bill prohibiting conversion from one religion to another by marriage

Uttar Pradesh passes contentious bill prohibiting conversion from one religion to another by marriage

The Uttar Pradesh Assembly on Wednesday cleared a contentious bill prohibiting conversion from one religion to another by marriage. The Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Bill, 2021 was passed by the assembly by voice vote.

This bill will replace an ordinance which was already in place. The bill will now be sent to upper house of the state legislature and later to the Governor for his nod after which it will become act.

The ordinance titled “Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance”, was promulgated on November 24. It outlawed religious conversions by marriage, coercion, deceit or enticement.

It prescribed a jail term varying between one to five years, in addition to fines of up to 15,000 for those convicted under it. The jail term goes up to 10 years and fine up to 25,000 for conversions of women belonging to scheduled caste or scheduled tribe communities or who are minors.

The ordinance was promulgated after Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath vowed to end “love jihad”, a term used by right-wing activists to describe marital relationships between Muslim men and Hindu women.

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