Taking cognizance of the fact of growing number of love jihad cases in Gujarat, the State Minister for Home affairs Harsh Sanghavi has reassured that the Government will deal strictly with forceful conversions in name of love jihads but the parents also should be vigilant and keep a tab to ensure that their “young, innocent girls” are not lured away by nefarious elements who fake their names, identities and even papers to trap girls and then convert them.
Sanghavi was visiting Palitana in Saurashtra where recently two such cases have been reported. The minister emphasised that falling in love with anyone is okay and fine but ensuring that this is not a trap for conversion is important.
He also met the parents of the two “victim” girls and empathised with them. “Those hiding their identity to trap girls from other communities will not be spared,” the minister said.
Referring to the Palitana case, the minister said it was apparent that these cases of two girls being trapped and abducted was a conspiracy as fake identities were used to trap the girls.
The minister warned Vidharmis , without naming Muslims and Christians as a sect against planned acts of conversion masking love as a trap to aid their vested interest. “The ruling BJP state government, in 2021, approved an amendment for prison up to 10 years for fraudulent or forcible conversion by marriage. This law seeks to curtail an “emerging trend in which women are lured into marriage for the purpose of religious conversion,” the minister ensured Palitana. Palitana it must be noted is a holy place of worship for Jains in India and is the only officially adjudged vegetarian town.
Mr Sanghavi added that Bhavnagar police has been asked to step up vigilance in this regard. He further urged parents to talk to their daughters and caution them against acts of propaganda. “Love is not wrong. But using it as a tool and forging another identity is a criminal offence. Anyone caught guilty will be sternly dealt with,” he warned.