A day after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath threatened death for marrying a woman on the basis of a “concealed identity”, his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar too on Sunday said he was considering introducing “legal provisions” to curb “love jihad” cases in his state, ANI reported.
“Love jihad” is a conspiracy theory used by Hindutva political groups who accuse Muslim men of converting Hindu women by marriage. Right-wing leaders allege it to be a part of a larger Muslim conspiracy of eventually turning Hindus into a minority in India.
Khattar said his government was looking into the Constitutional legality of a law that would prevent “love jihad” in Haryana. “Since the Ballabhgarh case is being linked with “love jihad”, the Centre as well as state government is looking into it, and considering legal provisions so the guilty cannot escape and no innocent person is punished,” Khattar said.
The chief minister was referring to the death of a 21-year-old student in Faridabad, who was shot dead outside her college in Ballabgarh on Monday by a man against whom her family had filed a complaint in 2018. The family alleged the killing was linked to “love jihad”. Two accused – Touseef and Rehan – have since been arrested.
Earlier in the day, Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij also said that a law against religious conversions was paramount. “This ‘love jihad’... it is necessary to cure it, so we can save young girls,” he said. “If we have to pass a law to do this, or do something else, we will.”
Shortly after, Vij tweeted that a law against “love jihad” was being considered by his government. His statement came days before the Haryana Assembly session, which will begin on November 5.
At an election rally in Jaunpur, Adityanath on Saturday had promised to pass laws against “love jihad” in his state. The chief minister had warned men who “hide their identities” and “play with the honour of sisters” to get ready for their own funerals, even though there is no law that sentences an individual to death for marrying a woman on the basis of a concealed identity.
Adityanath referred to a recent Allahabad High Court judgement that said religious conversion just for the purpose of marriage is unacceptable. “We will make an impactful legislation against love jihad,” the chief minister had said. “I warn those who conceal their identity and play with our sisters’ respect. If you don’t mend your ways, your ‘Ram naam satya’ journey will begin.” The term refers to a chant associated with Hindu funerals.