INDIA, November 28, 2020 (Hindustan Times): The Uttar Pradesh government has banned "unlawful religious conversions" with immediate effect as governor Anandiben Patel promulgated the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance on Saturday. The ordinance has stricter provisions to check religious conversions carried out by allurement, coercion, use of force or fraudulent means, and for marrying women with the objective of converting them to other religions. The Uttar Pradesh cabinet approved on Tuesday the draft ordinance that prescribes up to 10 years imprisonment for those found guilty of such conversions. The promulgation comes a month after Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath vowed to end "love jihad" [the deliberate targeting of Hindu women by Muslim men with the objective of converting the wife after marriage].
The ordinance makes violations of its provisions cognisable and non-bailable offenses. It authorizes "aggrieved parents, siblings or close relatives" to file first information reports over the violations. "If any person reconverts to his/her immediate previous religion, the same shall not be deemed to be a religious conversion," says the ordinance.