Assam Government Wants "Free Will" For Interfaith Marriage: Minister

On Sunday, Himanta Biswa Sarma lashed out "love jihad" and claimed that social media was a "menace" in this regard

Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma (File)

Guwahati:

Two days after declaring that the BJP would launch a massive campaign against "love jihad" if voted to power in Assembly elections due next year, Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said next on the state's agenda would be to ensure interfaith marriages happen out of free will.

On Sunday Mr Sarma, the BJP's go-to person in the northeast, alleged that social media was the "new menace" and Assamese girls were "falling prey to love jihad". "... this is a cultural aggression on our society and later these girls might have to face talaq..." the minister said.

"Muslim boys put up fake accounts posing as Hindus. This might be vice versa, I don't know. Then, when the girl marries she discovers the boy is not from the same religion she belongs to. I don't consider this a bonafide marriage. This is a marriage based on breach of trust," Mr Sarma told reporters on Tuesday.

"The state government has decided to act tough on these incidents," the minister proclaimed, "We detected certain cases and took action as per law. However, it needs a concerted effort - from educating people and creating awareness to involvement of law and order machinery, as and where necessary."

In the next five years we will see that all marriages happen out of free will, he added.

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On Sunday, while addressing a state executive meeting of Assam BJP's Mahila Morcha, Mr Sarma lashed out "love jihad" and claimed that social media was a "menace" in this regard.

"Social media is (the) new menace since it is helping in promoting love jihad. Through social media Assamese girls are falling prey to love jihad... this is a cultural aggression on our society and later these girls might have to face talaq..." he said.

"When the BJP comes back to power we will make sure that if any Assamese girl is harassed or becomes victim of love jihad and is trolled on social media, by people of hidden identity, we will put them in prison," the minister declared.