Lucknow: Just before a Hindu girl and a Muslim boy were to get married in a ceremony involving rituals of both religions in Lucknow, police stopped the wedding citing the controversial ‘love jihad’ (anti-conversion) law in Uttar Pradesh.
Raina Gupta, 22, was to marry her childhood friend Mohammad Asif, 24 with the consent and support of both families.
However, Brijesh Shukla a district president of Hindu Mahasabha submitted a written complaint about the wedding. Based on that, a police team landed at the venue of the function and intervened.
Both families agreed to wait for the District Magistrate’s approval.
“When police reached the venue, they found that preparations were underway to conduct marriage rituals as per Hindu traditions. Later, the wedding was to be solemnised through Muslim rituals. The wedding was taking place with the consent of both families, but the planned religious ceremonies could not have been conducted without conversion,” Additional DCP (South Zone) Suresh Chandra Rawat told the media.
He explained that the marriage was stopped in accordance with Sections 3 and 8 (clause 2) of the recently promulgated Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020. It states that none should convert or attempt to convert directly or otherwise any person from one religion to another “by use or any practice of misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means or by marriage.”
Raina and Asif can now marry at least two months from the date of informing the District Magistrate.
BOTH FAMILIES TAKEN ABACK
Members of both families were taken aback when police stopped the marriage.
“I was unaware, until the police told us, that even after consent from all the parties, an interfaith marriage can be held only with the district magistrate’s approval,” the bride’s father Vijay Gupta was quoted as saying.
A Muslim cleric didn’t mince words in expressing his disappointment. ”Our apprehensions have come true sooner than expected. The police are now running the state and individual freedom has been mopped up by this new law,” he fumed.