Lucknow: Amid ongoing controversy over interfaith marriages, 104 retired bureaucrats wrote a letter to Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister of the Uttar Pradesh against state’s Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance.
According to the India Today report, at the beginning of the letter, they wrote, “We should like to clarify at the start that we, as a group, have no political affiliation but share a commitment to the idea of India as defined in our constitution”.
Terming the ordinance illegal, the letter mentioned, “It has become painfully evident that, in recent years, UP, once known as the cradle of the Ganga-Jamuna civilisation, has become the epicentre of the politics of hate, division and bigotry and that the institutions of governance are now steeped in communal poison”.
Sharing the details of an infamous Moradabad incident, the letter mentioned, “A 22-year-old Rashid and his 25-year-old brother, Saleem, were arrested, to be released only two weeks later when Rashid’s wife, Pinki, gave testimony that she had married him willingly, without any compulsion”.
It further mentioned, “Rashid and Pinki were on their way to have their marriage registered on December 5 when they were accosted by alleged Bajrang Dal men, who accused Rashid of “Love Jihad”, and took them to the police. The vigilantees who had accosted them brought Pinki’s family to the police station. What is inexcusable is that the police remained mute as the vigilantes harassed and interrogated the innocent couple”.
The bureaucrats alleged that the Moradabad incident is just one of the many ‘atrocities’ meted out against young couple who just want to live their lives as a free citizens of a free country.
They claimed that the anti-conversion ordinance of the State is being used as a stick to victimize especially those Indian men who are Muslim and women who dare to exercise their freedom of choice.
It may be mentioned that in the UP, many cases have been filed against persons under the ordinance.
Other states following footsteps of UP
Meanwhile, the Madhya Pradesh Cabinet on Tuesday approved the Dharma Swatantrata (Religious Freedom) Ordinance, 2020 to deal with “love jihad” cases in the state.
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday said that his government will introduce a law against ‘Love-Jihad’ in the next Assembly session.