Yogi to curb ‘love-jihad’, VHP demands stringent law

Lucknow, Aug 30: The contentious issue of ‘love-jihad’ is on the rise in Uttar Pradesh. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has instructed strict measures be taken to curb harassment against women and ‘love-jihad’ incidents reported from many districts, including Kanpur, Lakhimpur Kheri and Balrampur, in the state.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), which has been advocating firm action against love-jihad for a long time, demanded that a law be enacted to curb the menace.

Seeing the rise in such incidents, Adityanath has instructed officials to chalk out an action plan to prevent such incidents.

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In recent days, cases of love-jihad in Meerut, Kheri and Kanpur have been reported. According to Additional Chief Secretary Avnish Kumar Awasthi, the Chief Minister has asked for instant and strict action against women’s harassment and love-jihad incidents.

Meerut, Kanpur and Lakhimpur Kheri have recently reported cases of girls being trapped under the pretext of falling in love.

Madhuram Mishra, Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Kanpur unit organisational head says, “The cases of love-jihad are quite old. A gang is active in carrying out such operations. In Kanpur, Farrukhabad, Jhansi, Etawah, Hamirpur, Lalitpur, Fatehpur and other districts, there have been cases of love-jihad. People are in touch with us. We are raising awareness about it.”

Recently, a young girl in Kanpur had released a video on social media which went viral, saying she would undergo religious conversion on the pretext of consummating the marriage.

After hearing this, activists of Vishwa Hindu Parishad created a ruckus outside Kidwai Nagar police station, accusing a youth of forceful religious conversion.

They demanded that the accused be arrested and the girl handed over to them.

Bholendra, the area head of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, said the love-jihad syndicate is active in every district of Uttar Pradesh. Each syndicate comprises several agents. The incidents in Lakhimpur and Kanpur have come to the fore. The poor sections of society especially villagers were primarily targeted.

ADG law and order Prashant Kumar said, “The police are working with sensitivity in cases of violence against women. Special attention is being given to inter-faith harmony. Reports of such incidents are being looked into promptly. Each case is treated on its merit.”

The issue of love-jihad was raised with gusto in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly bypolls. During the 2014 bypolls, Yogi Adityanath used to say at election rallies, “Now Jodha bai will not go with Akbar and Alexander will be forced to give his daughter to Chandragupta Maurya.” Yogi has often described it as an international plot.

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