The Uttar Pradesh Home Department has sent a proposal to the state’s Law Ministry for a stringent law to deal with the alleged religious conversion of women in the name of marriage, which BJP leaders refer to as “love jihad”.

The development follows an announcement by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during recent election rallies that his government would come out with a law to deal with “love jihad”.

A proposal for strict law against “love jihad” has been sent to the Law Department, a government spokesman confirmed on Friday.

Stressing on the need for a strict law to deal with “love jihad”, UP Law Minister Brijesh Pathak on Friday told news agency Press Trust of India, that “There has been a rise in such cases in the state which have caused social disharmony and enmity. These incidents are also bringing a bad name to the state and therefore a strict law is the need of the hour.”

‘We will do whatever is required as soon as we receive a proposal from the Home Department as we have already made all necessary preparations,” Mr Pathak said.

Addressing by-elections rallies in Jaunpur and Deoria on October 31, Chief Minister Adityanath had said his government would come out with a law to deal with “love jihad” and had used the Hindu funeral chant “Ram Naam Satya Hai” to threaten those who don’t respect their daughters and sisters.

Welcoming the Allahabad High Court ruling which had declared that conversion for the sole purpose of marriage is not valid, the chief minister had also said posters would be put up of those involved in “love jihad”, a derogatory coinage referring to the alleged campaign of Muslims forcing Hindu girls to convert in the guise of love.

We will bring an effective law. It is my warning to those who play with the honour and dignity of sisters and daughters by hiding their real names and identities. If they do not mend their ways, their ‘Ram Naam Satya’ journey will start,” Yogi Adityanath had said.

The Uttar Pradesh State Law Commission had submitted a report last year suggesting a new law to check the forcible religious conversions.

“The commission is of the view that existing legal provisions are not enough to check religious conversion and on this serious matter, a new law is needed like in some other states,” the report said.

The report was submitted by the Law Commission along with draft legislation, Uttar Pradesh Freedom of Religion Bill, 2019.

In Kanpur, according to officials, the police had earlier set up a Special Investigation Team to look into reports of “love jihad”.