Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Thursday said that his government will bring a law against “love jihad” to stop the “kidnapping and conversion” of Hindu girls, PTI reported. “Love jihad” is a pejorative term coined by the right-wing groups to push the conspiracy theory that Muslim men charm Hindu women into marrying them with the sole purpose of converting their brides to Islam.
“Assembly session is starting from March 1 and my government is willing to bring in a strict law against love jihad,” Rupani said at an election rally in Godhra. “Women are being lured and converted. We will not tolerate this act of kidnapping of Hindu girls.”
Earlier this month too, Rupani had made a similar announcement, while speaking in Vadodara. Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Dabhoi constituency Shailesh Mehta and the party’s Vadodara MP Ranjanben Bhatt have also called for such laws, according to PTI.
Many BJP-ruled states have decided to introduce similar laws, while Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh and Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led Madhya Pradesh governments have already brought legislations aimed at preventing inter-faith marriages. The Haryana government has formed a three-member drafting committee to frame a law on the matter. Karnataka and Assam governments have made similar announcements.
However, the Centre itself told the Lok Sabha last year that no “case of ‘love jihad’ had been reported by any of the central agencies”. Investigations by the National Investigation Agency and the Karnataka Criminal Investigation Department have turned up no evidence for this alleged conspiracy either. The National Commission for Women maintains no data about “love jihad” too.