Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Thursday directed police authorities to be more strict in cases of forced religious conversion and “love jihad” — or marriage involving a Hindu woman and a Muslim man allegedly against her will.
He also instructed the police to be strict in implementing the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act, 2018 (Uttarakhand Dharm Swatantrata Adhiniyam, 2018).
After a review meeting of state police, Dhami told the media, “There is already a law on religious conversion…(we) will act more strictly on that. We held discussions on it.”
Dhami also said, “Law and the police will act strictly on love jihad and we will make the law stricter.”
A senior police officer said that only a few cases have been registered under the 2018 law in recent years and there is a need to make people aware about this law and strictly implement its provisions to prevent incidents of forced religious conversions and alleged love jihad.
In a meeting with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad in April, Dhami’s predecessor, Tirath Singh Rawat, had also raised concern about the prevalence of “love jihad” in the state. Dhami had replaced Rawat as chief minister in July.
In Thursday’s meeting with the authorities at the police headquarters, Dhami also launched two mobile applications — ‘Public Eye’ and ‘Mission Gaura Shakti’. While the former app will help people send images and videos of crime to the police and report about violation of law, the latter will enable women to seek police help in emergency situations and report crime against them, according to information.