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UP police stop interfaith marriage before solemnization citing anti-conversion law


LUCKNOW: The Lucknow police stopped an interfaith marriage from being solemnised citing the new 'anti-conversion' law on Wednesday evening.

The police authorities claimed that since it was a case involving religious conversion for which due procedure had to be followed in consonance with the newly promulgated law.

As per the police authorities, they came to know about marriage ceremony through Hindu Mahasabha's district president Brijesh Shukla. However, no case was lodged against the parties involved as the families of both the groom and the bride agreed to get the required permission from Lucknow DM before going ahead with the rituals.

The families of bride Raina Gupta and groom Mohammad Asif (24) live in DUDA Colony, meant for lower-income group, in Para area on city outskirts. 

While Raina is a Chemistry postgraduate, Asif is a diploma holder in pharmacy.

According to additional deputy commissioner of police, South Zone, Suresh Chandra Rawat, the wedding was being solemnised with the consent of both the families. “Since they agreed to follow instructions, so no case was lodged against the two," said the officer.

“After receiving written information about Raina and Asifs’ marriage from Hindu Mahasabha district president, a police team was sent to the venue. The families were asked to stop the proceedings, citing the requirement for such a marriage to be solemnised under recently promulgated Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020,” said Triloki Singh, station house officer, Para police station.

Explaining the grounds on which police intervened, the additional deputy commissioner claimed that the marriage was stopped on the basis of Section 3 and Section 8 (Clause 2 ) of the ordinance which stated that no person shall convert or attempt to convert directly or otherwise any person from one religion to another by use or any practice of misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means or by marriage, nor should any person abet convince or conspire such conversion.

“On reaching the venue, the cops found that the preparations were underway to conduct the marriage as per Vedic rituals and later it was to be solemnised as per the Muslim rituals. Religious ceremonies involved here were not possible without conversion," said Rawat.

Later the bride’s father Vijay Gupta claimed that there was no forced religious conversion for the marriage and that both the families had agreed for the wedding unconditionally.

“I was not aware, as police told us, that even after consent from all the parties, the interfaith marriages can be held only after approval of the district magistrate,” he said adding that he would comply with provisions of the new law and seek permission of the DM before solemnising the marriage.