UP government arrested 507 persons in 291 cases of illegal conversions in two years

Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government is taking strict action against forced conversion in Uttar Pradesh after the Prohibition of Illegal Religious Conversion Act came into force two years ago, a state government official said.
Over 507 accused have been arrested after the registration of 291 cases so far in Uttar Pradesh since November 2020, when the Prohibition of Illegal Religious Conversion Act came into force in the state, he added. As per the available information, none of the 507 accused has been convicted so far in any of the 291 first information reports (FIRs) registered under this Act. Trial in all these cases is pending in the respective courts.
As many as 59 of the total 291 cases involve the conversion of minors. According to available data, victims in 150 of the 291 total cases stated in court that they were forced to convert. “Most cases under this Act have been registered in Bareilly district,” he added. However, the exact number of cases registered in Bareilly was not immediately available.
A racket converting disabled children was also exposed in Uttar Pradesh.
Cases of forced conversion had been registered earlier too under other provisions of law, but strict action against illegal conversions has been intensified after the implementation of this Act, which came into force on November 27, 2020, he added.
There is a provision for up to 10 years’ imprisonment for a person found guilty under the Illegal Conversion Act, depending on the seriousness of the offence. Further, the guilty may be fined from 15 thousand to 50 thousand.
In the Act, there is a provision of three to 10 years’ imprisonment for the conversion of minors and women of SC/ST community.
Furthermore, there is a provision for one to five years in prison and a minimum fine of Rs 15,000 for forced conversion.
The provision of imprisonment of 3–10 years and a fine of 50 thousand has been made in the Act for forced mass conversion.
Under this Act, any couple intending to solemnise an inter-faith marriage has to inform the district magistrate two months before getting married.

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