Uttar Pradesh Police has made the first arrest under the new ‘Love jihad’ law.

A Muslim man has been arrested by the police in Bareilly under the State’s new anti-conversion law for allegedly trying to convert a Hindu woman to Islam.

The arrest has been made days after a man named Tikaram filed an FIR stating that someone is harassing his daughter in a bid to change her religion.

A case was registered at the Devarniya police station in Bareilly under sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the new anti-conversion law.

Police in Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly district confirmed the arrest on Twitter.

According to reports, the arrested 21-year-old man – Owais Ahmad – has been sent to 14-day judicial custody.

Reportedly, Tikaram’s daughter and Ahmad, both residents of Sharif Nagar village in Devarniya of Bareilly district studied together in Class 12.

In the complaint, Tikaram stated that three years ago, the accused allegedly started pressuring his daughter to convert to Islam and perform ‘nikah’ with him.

Earlier this year in June, the complainant’s daughter married someone else.

However, accused Ahmad allegedly continued to harass her.

The arrest comes just five days after promulgation of the ‘love jihad’ ordinance, which many critics have slammed as being Islamophobic.

Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel on November 28 had given assent to the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020 to ‘curb’ forcible or fraudulent religious conversions.

Under the new anti-conversion law a person, if found guilty may invite imprisonment of up to 10 years and a maximum fine of Rs 50,000 under sections.

At least four other states – Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka and Assam – are also mulling to bring in laws against ‘love jihad’.

Notably, all the five states are being ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Also read: Uttar Pradesh Governor promulgates ordinance to enforce anti-love jihad law

Below are some of the key provisions of the ordinance:

Section 3: It states that no person shall convert or attempt to convert either directly or otherwise any other person from one religion to another by use or practice of misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means or by marriage nor shall any person abet, convince or conspire such conversion.

Section 4: Any aggrieved person, his/her parents, brother, sister, or any other person who is related to him/her by blood, marriage, or adoption may lodge an FIR of such conversion which contravenes the provisions of Section 3.

Section 5: A person found guilty of offence under Section 3 will be punishable with imprisonment from 1 to 5 years and fine of upto Rs. 15, 000.

Importantly, however, contravention of Section 3 with respect to a minor, woman or a person belonging to Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe shall attract a punishment of imprisonment between 2 to 10 years and shall also be liable to fine of upto Rs 25,000.

A person previously convicted under section 3, if found guilty for a second time, will be punishable with the double the punishment prescribed.

Section 6: Any marriage which was done for the sole purpose of unlawful conversion or vice-versa by the man of one religion with the woman of another religion, either by converting himself/herself before or after marriage or by converting the woman before or after marriage, shall be declared void by the family court or where the family court is not established, by the court having jurisdiction to try such case on a petition presented by either party thereto against the other party of the marriage.


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