Lucknow: Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, has slammed forced conversions. So far, 291 cases have been filed in the state, with over 507 people arrested.
On November 27, 2020, the Prohibition of Illegal Religious Conversion Act went into effect in the state. A person found guilty under this law faces up to ten years in prison, depending on the gravity of the offence. The fine in the law ranges from Rs.15000 to Rs.50,000.
In 150 of these cases, the victims admitted in court that they were coerced into converting. Fifty-nine cases involving the conversion of minor girls have been reported. So far, most conversion cases have been recorded in the Bareilly district. The state has also been exposed to the racket of converting disabled children.
Couples planning an interfaith marriage must notify the district magistrate two months in advance; failure to do so is considered a forcible conversion. Forcible conversion is punishable by imprisonment for one to five years and a minimum fine of Rs.15,000. Conversion of minor girls and women from the SC-ST community is punishable by three to ten years in prison.
Forcible mass conversion is punishable by three to ten years in prison and a fine of Rs.50,000 under this law. According to the law, if the sole purpose of the marriage was to convert the woman, the Yogi government made such marriages illegal in this new law.