Haryana govt mulls law against “Love Jihad”

Chandigarh: A day after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced his government would bring a law against “love jihad“, his Haryana counterpart M L Khattar said his government is also considering legal provisions against it to ensure “the guilty cannot escape”.

Citing the recent murder of a student in Faridabad’s Ballabhgarh, Khattar said the incident is being linked to “love jihad”, a derogatory coinage used by right-wing activists to refer to the alleged campaign of Muslims forcing Hindu girls to convert in the guise of love.

Earlier in the day, Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij tweeted the state government “is contemplating a law against love jihad”.

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Speaking to reporters in Karnal, Khattar said, “This (Ballabhgarh) incident needs to be strongly condemned. This incident is being seen linked with the love jihad issue… both the Centre and the state government are taking the love jihad issue very seriously.”

“The Centre and the state government are looking into this issue and legal advice is being taken so that such incidents are not repeated. Legal provisions are being contemplated so that the guilty cannot escape and no innocent person is punished,” he said.

Last week, a 21-year-old college student, Nikita, was shot dead in Ballabhgarh by a man. The victim’s family has alleged that the man was pressuring her to convert to Islam in order to marry him.

Some Hindu outfits have alleged that the woman’s murder is a case of “love jihad”.

On Saturday, Adityanath had said his government would come out with a law to deal with “love jihad” and used the Hindu funeral chant ‘Ram Naam Satya Hai’ to threaten those who don’t respect their daughters and sisters.

He said posters would be put up of those involved in “love jihad”.

Addressing election rallies in Uttar Pradesh’s Jaunpur and Deoria, Adityanath also welcomed the Allahabad High Court ruling declaring that conversion for the sole purpose of marriage is not valid.

Vij told reporters in Ambala what Adityanath said on “love jihad” was right.

“To save daughters, it is necessary to deal with love jihad. We need to take steps to deal with love jihad,” he said on Sunday.

A ‘Mahapanchayat’ was organised by various social organisations in Ballabhgarh on Sunday to demand justice for Nikita.

The Haryana government has set up a three-member Special Investigation Team to probe the case.

The police have arrested three men in the case including the main accused, Tausif.

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