Law Against "Love Jihad" In Maharashtra Next? Devendra Fadnavis Says...

His statement came after a meeting with the father of Shraddha Walkar, who was killed by her boyfriend Aaftab Amin Poonawala and hacked into pieces in a case that has stunned the country.

Devendra Fadnavis heads the Home Department in Maharashtra.

Mumbai:

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday said the state was considering a law against "love jihad" - the right-wing conspiracy theory that Muslim men lure Hindu women to convert them.

His statement came after a meeting with the father of Shraddha Walkar, who was killed by her boyfriend Aaftab Amin Poonawala and hacked into pieces in a case that has stunned the country.

"We are looking at what are the laws regarding this in other states. Based on that we will decide further," Mr Fadnavis, who heads the state's Home Department, said.

While forced religious conversion is already illegal in India, several BJP-ruled states, including Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, have introduced or proposed laws to tackle what leaders of the party call "love jihad".

The moves have been criticised by the opposition and civil society as attempts to target minorities.

Earlier this week, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said the state will have a fresh law against "love jihad" if need be, citing the grisly murder of Shraddha Walkar.

Speaking at an event meant to mark the death anniversary of tribal icon Tantiya Bhil, Mr Chouhan said the state will not allow anyone to "delude its daughters and chop them up into 35 pieces".

Before him, in an interview to NDTV, Mr Chouhan's Assam counterpart, Himanta Biswa Sarma, had said "love jihad" is a "reality" and the country needs a "strict law" against it.

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