Cong MLA tears copy of ‘Love Jihad’ Bill in Gujarat Assembly

Gandhinagar April 1 (IANS) 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 aimed to combat forceful religious conversions, better known as ‘Love Jihad’, that was tabled in the House by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

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’. I opposite this Bill and I’m tearing down its copy,” Khedawala said as 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.

The proposed amendment seeks to prohibit and punish religious conversions promising better lifestyle, divine blessings and impersonation.

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