Haryana government will soon introduce a "strict law to control love jihad", state Home Minister, Anil Vij said. "With the enactment of this law strict action will be taken against any person found guilty of religious conversion by pressuring or tempting someone, or is involved in any kind of conspiracy, to convert religions in the name of love," Vij said on Tuesday, November 17.
Vij's comments come hours after his Madhya Pradesh counterpart said that his government was planning to bring a similar law and punish those found guilty with up to five years of imprisonment. "Cases will be registered under non-bailable sections...The collaborator will also be the culprit like the main accused," Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra said. "For voluntary conversion for marriage, it will be mandatory to apply to the collector a month in advance."
Justifying the need for the law, Vij referred to the killing of a 21-year-old woman in Haryana's Faridabad on October 26.
In February this year, the Centre had told the Parliament that the term "love jihad" is not defined under any law and no case has been reported by any central agency.
Haryana CM Manoharlal Khattar on November 1, said that the centre is also looking for ways to check "love jihad" cases.
Earlier this month Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said that his government would "take stern measures" to stop "love jihad", calling it a "social evil".
Last month Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that his party would launch a campaign against "love jihad" cases ahead of state elections due next year.
Ahead of Assembly polls on November 3, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had cited an Allahabad High Court order on religious conversion for marriage, to threaten "those who... play with our sisters' respect".
The Allahabad High Court in September had said that "religious conversion only for the purpose of marriage was not acceptable". The statement was made with reference to its earlier order refusing to interfere in a couple's petition seeking protection from relatives interfering in their married life. The Allahabad High Court order stated that the woman was Muslim by birth and had converted to Hinduism in June this year, nearly a month before her marriage.