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Published By: Pritha Mallick

Last Updated: July 30, 2023, 00:15 IST

Guwahati [Gauhati], India

Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma. (File Photo)

Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma. (File Photo)

Sarma has been claiming that the triple murder case in Golaghat where a 25-year-old Muslim man killed his Hindu wife and her parents on Monday was a case of ’love jihad’

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who has been vocal against ’love jihad’, Saturday said it must be stopped as it creates tension in the society.

Sarma, who was speaking to reporters at Bongaigaon after a two-day convention of police superintendents of the state, said he wants peaceful co-existence among Hindus and Muslims in the state but ”Issues like jihad and forceful religious conversions create tensions”.

In most cases of ’love jihad’ it is seen that girls are forcibly taken away and then blackmailed with some videos taken of them, he said.

’’We will have to see if girls are being forcibly converted to another religion and getting married under duress … We have to bring such marriages under the scope of investigations,’’ he said.

’’A quazi (Muslim cleric) cannot register a Hindu-Muslim marriage. Similarly, a Hindu priest too cannot do the same legally … If boys and girls from different religions want to marry they should do it under the Special Marriage Act and without converting,’’ he said.

At the same time, he appealed to parents to guide their children so that a situation like ’love jihad’ does not arise as there are cultural differences between Hindu and Muslim communities and girls from either of them find it difficult to adjust with people after an inter-faith marriage.

Sarma said ways to widen investigation into cases of ’love jihad’ was discussed at the convention.

The chief minister has asked the police to develop a standard operating procedure for probing cases of ’love-jihad’, which is the root cause of forceful religious conversions in the state.

Sarma has been claiming that the triple murder case in Golaghat where a 25-year-old Muslim man killed his Hindu wife and her parents on Monday was a case of ’love jihad’.

The term ’love jihad’ is used by right-wing groups to allege a ploy by Muslim men to lure Hindu women into religious conversion through marriage.

He iterated that the second round of crackdown on child marriages will be launched in September and the matter was discussed in detail at the convention. Incidents of child marriage have come down remarkably and in most of the districts it is negligible, but ’’Our goal is to make it zero’’, Sarma said.

’’We want to comprehensively ban both child marriage and polygamy in the state and to this end we will bring in a law that will allow the police to effectively deal with the menace … Banning polygamy is our commitment and we will do it,” he said.

There are some legacy issues regarding some acts which must be repealed and new laws will be enacted to deal with the issues, he said.

Sarma said a four-member committee headed by Justice (Retd) Rumi Phukan was examining the legislative competence of the state legislature to enact a law to end polygamy in the state and is likely to submit the report within 15 days.

Sarma said crime against women and children in the state have declined remarkably and will be evident in the National Crime Record Bureau data to be released oon.

The chief minister had announced in May when his government completed two years in office that the state will bring in a bill to end polygamy and the committee will scrutinise the provisions of Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Act, 1937 along with Article 25 of Constitution in relation to the Directive Principles of State Policy for a Uniform Civil Code.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)

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