After a 26-year-old woman committed suicide in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal on 8 January, her family claimed it was a consequence of love jihad.
The woman was found hanging in her room in TT Nagar, Bhopal. The police found a suicide note that said one Aadil Khan was responsible for her death.
Following a complaint from the woman’s family, police arrested Khan under relevant sections.
According to the victim’s kin, the suspect deceived the woman by posing as a Hindu. “He told my daughter his name was Babloo and befriended her,” said the victim’s father.
“When my daughter came to know that he lied she tried to distance herself from him and, in return, he physically and verbally assaulted her,” the victim’s father said.
The family said that the woman had committed suicide after suffering from harassment at the hands of the suspect.
Now, the family members want the suspect to be tried under MP’s newly enacted anti love jihad law. However, police have not officially confirmed the case to be that of forced religious conversion.
According to draft of the bill approved, “The forced conversion of woman, minor, scheduled castes and scheduled tribe will attract 2-10 years imprisonment and a minimum fine of Rs 50,000. Mass forced conversion will attract 5-10 years of jail term and fine upto to Rs 1 lakh. The burden of proof will lie on the accused.”
“Forceful conversions and marriages will be a cognizable offence and be non-bailable. There will be a provision for declaring inter-faith forceful marriages and forced conversions null and void. Before conversion, the person and religious gurus have to inform the district magistrate at least 60 days prior to the scheduled date of marriage. The violation of this rule will attract 3-5 years of jail and a minimum fine of Rs 50,000,” according to the approved draft of the proposed bill.
On 9 January, Madhya Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel gave assent to the anti love jihad ordinance of MP government which penalizes religious conversions through fraudulent means including those for the sake of marriage. The law provides for as much as 10 years in prison for fraudulent conversions in some cases.
It has several provisions that are similar to the ordinance issued by the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh against fraudulent conversions.