With debate over “Love Jihad” rekindling once again across the country, the BJP ruled Madhya Pradesh government is mulling to make the police verification of couples by marriage registrars mandatory.
As per the plan, marriage registrars and other institutions responsible for solemnising marriages in the state will be mandated to get police pre-verification of the applicant couples in a bid to check instances of love jihad.
State Home Minister Narottam Mishra, while speaking to media persons, said, “… marriage registrar bureau and other institutions involved in the (marriage) registration process like the notary would receive the information about the bride and the groom one month prior (to the date of wedding), so that they can be asked to perform police verification of the applicants before conducting the marriage.”
Mishra, who is also law minister and the official spokesperson in Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led BJP government, said, “Love jihad is a serious issue and therefore the government is thinking seriously that the marriage registrars and organisations like Arya Samaj should get mandatory police verification (of the couple) done. Decision will be done soon in this regard.”
The minister further said that MP Religious Freedom Act-2021 has already in implementation in the state for this (stopping love jihad) purpose. “Police verification does not mean that the prior law is not effective, but we want double protection,” the minister asserted.
Citing the infamous Shraddha Walkar murder case of Delhi, Mishra told IANS: “The proposal is being mulled seriously so that in future no victim has to lose life, and incidents like chopping her body to pieces could be prevented.”
Walkar was allegedly strangled by her boyfriend Aaftab Poonawala, and her body was chopped up into pieces, and dumped in a jungle in Delhi.
Claiming that the law was effective in bringing the number of such cases down, he said that in 2021, when the Act was implemented, 65 cases of Love Jihad were registered, while in 2022, 49 cases registered till date.