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Imran Khedawala tears copy of 'Love Jihad' Bill in Gujarat Assembly

Critics say, the Bill tabled in the House by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is divisive and its real motive is to target Muslims

Thursday April 1, 2021 5:10 PM, ummid.com with inputs from IANS

Love Jihad Gujarat

Gandhinagar: Sparks flew in the Gujarat Assembly on the concluding day of the Budget session on Thursday with Congress legislator Imran Khedawala tearing a copy of the Bill proposed to amend the 'Dharma Swatantrya' (Freedom of Religion) Act, 2003.

The bill, according to the right-wing BJP government in the state, is aimed at "forceful religious conversions", infamoulsy popularised as 'Love Jihad'.

On the other hand, the critics say, the Bill tabled in the House by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is divisive and its real motive is to target Muslims.

Also Read | 'Love Jihad' a hoax, laws against it unconstitutional

While speaking on the provisions of the amendment Bill, Khedawala said:

"Home Minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja has only mentioned that the daughters of the Hindu community are targeted by men from a specific community. Daughters, be it from any religious community, will always be our daughters.

"I too have over hundred testimonies of Muslim girls marrying into other religion. I am deeply hurt by the words of the minister."

On hearing this, the Speaker of the House, Rajendra Trivedi, interrupted the Congress legislator but Khedawala stuck to his words.

"Nobody can force anybody to marry into a specific religion and in no religion it is written to forcibly convert anyone to accept that. In this Bill, only one community is specifically targeted with words like 'Jihadi'.

Also Read | India Needs More of Love, Not Hatred

"I opposite this Bill and I'm tearing down its copy," Khedawala said as he tore the copy of the Bill which he had in his hand.

The gesture was followed by an uproar from the BJP members in the House.

As per the government's claim, the proposed amendment seeks to prohibit and punish "religious conversions promising better lifestyle, divine blessings and impersonation".

Similar bill was earlier passed and converted into a law in other BJP ruled statest, including Madhya Pradesh.


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