Uttar Pradesh has stopped a Muslim man from marrying a Hindu woman in Lucknow despite the consent of their parents.

Police said the couple would first have to take permission from the state authorities under the new anti-conversion law that targets “love jihad”.

The police action has sparked anger against the anti-conversion law.

“This is exactly what is going to happen now. The police will decide whether a marriage can take place or not. The courts have said that no one can stop consenting adults from living together but with this law, it is the police that will take a call,” said Maroof Ali, a young techie.

Shirish Gupta, a relative from bride’s side, was equally upset.

“The marriage was taking place in the presence of both the families but the police stopped the ceremonies. The guests were sent back without dinner. Could have never imagined such an incident would take place in Independent India,” he said.

A Muslim cleric, who did not wish to be named, said, “Our apprehensions have come true sooner than expected. The police are now running the state and individual freedom has been mopped up by this new law.”

According to reports, a Hindu Mahasabha district president Brijesh Shukla had submitted a complaint about the wedding in writing.

The police reached the venue on Wednesday night where 22-year-old Raina Gupta was to marry her childhood friend Mohammad Asif, 24.

The wedding was to be first solemnised according to Hindu rituals and then as per Muslim tradition.

Additional DCP (South Zone) Suresh Chandra Rawat said: “When the police reached the venue, they found that preparations were underway to conduct marriage rituals as per Hindu traditions. Later, the wedding was to be solemnised through Muslim rituals. The wedding was taking place with the consent of both families, but the planned religious ceremonies could not have been conducted without conversion.”

The ADCP said the marriage was stopped in accordance with Sections 3 and 8 (clause two) of the recently promulgated Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020.

No FIR has been lodged in the matter since the couple had the consent of both families.

Vijay Gupta, the bride’s father, said that there was no forced religious conversion for the marriage and that both families had unconditionally given their consent to the union.

“I was unaware, until the police told us, that even after consent from all the parties, an interfaith marriage can be held only with the district magistrate’s approval,” he said.

Raina and Mohammad Asif can now marry only after two months from the date of informing the District Magistrate.

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