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India’s Most Populous State Brings Law to Fight ‘Love Jihad’

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India’s most populous state has vowed to fight what it calls “love jihad” and has declared interfaith marriages illegal if the purpose is the religious conversion of the woman, in the latest move that risks further dividing the South Asian nation along religious lines.

States led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party call interfaith marriages “love jihad” -- a reference to an alleged conspiracy of Muslim men luring Hindu women into marriage for conversion. Ministers in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, headed by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s firebrand priest Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday approved the law that also proposes jail sentences as long as 10 years for offenders.