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Uttarakhand Considers Ending Scheme Granting Rs 50,000 to Interreligious Marriages | India News

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DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand, one of the first states to pass a law against ‘love jihad’, may end the monetary benefits given to couples who had an interfaith marriage.
The move is being pondered after the state government got into a tough spot recently when the welfare department issued a press release providing details of 18 couples in a single district (Tehri) who had benefited from a scheme that provides Rs 50,000 for interfaith marriages.
Uttarakhand passed the ‘Freedom of Religion Bill’ in 2018, which carries a two-year prison sentence for anyone found guilty of religious conversion through force or attraction. With him, Uttarakhand had joined states like Odisha, MP, Chhattisgarh, HP and Gujarat to have anti-conversion law one way or another.
Recently, when the department of social welfare issued the press release describing the benefits granted under the scheme to interfaith couples, a section of people raised questions that alleged the government was promoting ‘love jihad’ by continuing with such schemes. CM TS Rawat was quick to order an investigation into the matter. The sources said that the state administration, in a solution now for the issue, is considering setting aside financial assistance for interfaith marriages. However, cash aid for inter-caste marriages is likely to continue.
When asked, the state’s urban development minister and government spokesperson, Madan Kaushik, told TOI: “The plan was introduced during the time of the congressional government when Uttarakhand was part of Uttar Pradesh in 1976. Once again, the congressional government, when it was in power in 2014, raised the amount of 10,000 to 50,000 rupees for interreligious marriages. However, when we came up with our Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act of 2018 and it was passed in the state assembly , the plan became null and void. ”
“The scheme has been scrapped, but if there is still any confusion, it will be resolved soon,” he added.
The opposition Congress attacked the BJP, saying it is “fooling the people once again.” State Vice President of Congress Suryakant Dhasmana said: “The plan existed even before the formation of the state and has not been discarded and is still continuing. Second, even if the plan is scrapped, how can two people of different religions be prevented from marrying, as it is a right provided in our Constitution?

Times of India

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