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Private member bill to ban forced conversions introduced in Lok Sabha

A bill to ban forced conversions was among the 37 private members’ bills introduced in the Lok Sabha on Friday.

Some of the other bills introduced included the ones on compulsory military training, promotion of
two child norm and amending the Code of Civil Procedure to speed up trials. Shiv Sena member Sadashiv Lokhande introduced the Prohibition on Religious Conversion (By inducement or force) Bill, 2015.

The bill says the law will not apply on people who voluntarily converts to another religion or reconverts to his or her original religion. It proposes a jail term of upto 10 years for those indulging in forced conversions and a fine of Rs one lakh. There is also a provision of punishment for heads of institutions and organisations which indulge in forced conversions.

Amid uproar over VHP’s ‘ghar wapsi’ programme, the government in the last sssion had said it was open to bringing a bill against forced conversions.

It was up to the political parties, social organizations and religious institutions in the country to evolve a consensus on the issue of forced conversion which could pave the way for an anti-conversion bill in Parliament, government had said.
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