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‘Love jihad’ bill in Madhya Pradesh Assembly soon, five years jail for violators

The BJP governments in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh are also contemplating legal provisions against “love jihad”.

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Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra Tuesday said the “love jihad” bill will soon be introduced in the state assembly and it includes five years rigorous imprisonment for violators. The charge will be cognizable and non-bailable, Mishra told reporters.

“There will be provision to declare marriages taking place forcefully, out of fraud or by tempting someone, for religious conversion, null and void. Those assisting in committing this crime will also be considered a party to the crime,” Mishra said.

Other provisions of the Bill include notifying the district collector a month in advance before formalising an inter-faith marriage.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had earlier hinted at bringing in a new legislation against “love jihad”, a term coined by rightwing outfits opposing inter-faith marriage. However, the right to marry a person of one’s choice is guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.

“Jihad will not be permitted in the name of love at any cost in the state. Necessary legal provisions will be made against love jihad,” he had said.

The BJP governments in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh are also contemplating legal provisions against “love jihad”.

The issue was revived after a 21-year-old student was shot dead outside her college in Haryana’s Ballabgarh town. The girl’s family alleged that the accused had been pressuring her to convert and marry him.

Earlier this year, the Government informed Parliament that no cases of ‘love jihad’ have been reported by any of the central agencies and the term is not defined under any existing law. Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said Article 25 of the Constitution guarantees the freedom to profess, practice and propagate religion subject to public order, morality and health. Various courts, including the Kerala High Court, have upheld this view.

“The term ‘love jihad’ is not defined under the extant laws. No such case of ‘love jihad’ has been reported by any of the central agencies,” he said in reply to a written question.

The minister, however, said two cases from Kerala involving inter-faith marriage have been probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

The NIA was asked to probe whether a Kerala woman, Hadiya, was forcibly converted by her husband before marriage. In 2018, the Supreme Court set aside a trial court order the annulled the marriage between Hadiya and her husband Shefin Jahan.

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Gujarat govt renames ‘dragon fruit’ as kamalam

It should be noted that the lotus is the symbol of the BJP and the state BJP headquarters in Gandhinagar is also named ‘Shri Kamalam’.

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Gandhinagar Jan 20: Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, while interacting with the media on Tuesday, said that the government has applied for a patent to change the nomenclature of dragon fruit to ‘Kamalam’.

According to the CM, the word dragon for the fruit sounded inappropriate and so the Gujarat government had decided for the fruit to be called as Kamalam.

While interacting with the media on Tuesday during the launch of the Chief Minister Horticulture Development Mission, Rupani said, “We have applied for the patent of the Dragon fruit to be called as Kamalam. But as of now, we the Gujarat government have decided to call the fruit as Kamalam.”

“Even though the fruit is known as dragon fruit, it doesn’t sound appropriate. The word Kamalam is a Sanskrit word and the fruit does have the shape of the lotus, so we have decided to call it Kamalam, and there’s nothing political about it,” Rupani added.

According to the CM, the fruit has long since been grown as a form of cactus in the country. “Nobody has to be alarmed by the word Kamalam,” Rupani added.

It should be noted that the lotus is the symbol of the BJP and the state BJP headquarters in Gandhinagar is also named ‘Shri Kamalam’.

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Another fake social media news racket on temple attack busted

“Accused Peraka Venkateswara Rao, 35, was convicted in the case and sentenced to eight months in jail on June 23, 2015,” the official said.

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Amaravati, Jan 20: Police in Andhra Pradesh’s West Godavari district on Tuesday busted another fake news racket regarding temple attack in Eluru town and clarified that the Anjaneya Swamy idol incident was an old one.

“It came to our notice that some persons are using this 2014 incident as propaganda material to spread fake news on the social media,” said a district police official.

Police later registered a case under Sections 153-A and 295-A of the Indian Penal Code.

Police clarified that the Anjaneya Swamy idol incident occurred in 2014 and a case was registered then under Sections 295 and 427 of the IPC at Eluru town police station.

“Accused Peraka Venkateswara Rao, 35, was convicted in the case and sentenced to eight months in jail on June 23, 2015,” the official said.

Meanwhile, Prakasam district police arrested one more person for allegedly dubbing the damage due to corrosion to the Singarayikonda temple arch idols as an ‘attack’.

In this particular case, police identified 33 persons for spreading false information on the social media, of whom six were arrested from different places in the southern state.

Prakasam district Superintendent of Police Siddharth Kaushal on Tuesday visited multiple places to strengthen surveillance system, 24×7 beat and patrol systems for the security of all temples and religious places.

He met with members of village and mandal defence committees and gave suggestions on their security.

On Tuesday evening, Director General of Police Goutam Sawang held a videoconference with all districts police officials over the temple incidents in the state.

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Gurugram: Farmers to hold tractor rally ‘rehearsal’ on Wednesday

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Gurugram, Jan 20: The Sanyukt Kisan Morcha in Gurugram has announced that they will conduct a tractor rally ‘rehearsal’ in Gurugram on Wednesday ahead of Republic Day, in support of the farmers’ protests against the three farm laws.

SKM president Chaudhary Santokh Singh said that on Wednesday the rehearsal of the tractor rally will begin from the Bajghera flyover and will end at the protest site on the Delhi-Jaipur highway.

About 100 tractors will take part in the rehearsal. All tractors will have Morcha members present and will carry the national flag.

“The central government is aware of the flaws in the agricultural laws but is not ready to accept its mistake and is continuously harassing the innocent farmers at several borders of the national capital. The government must let go of its arrogant behaviour and roll back the black laws,” Singh said.

He said that on January 26, the farmers will join Republic Day by affixing the tricolour in front of their tractors and will proceed towards the national capital if permitted.

The protesting farmers said that it will be good if the Centre repeals the farm laws immediately, because the farmer movement has become a mass movement and people of other classes have also started supporting the farmers.

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