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Himachal passes bill against religious conversion


ANI General News
Himachal Pradesh Assembly on Friday passed a bill against religious conversion by use of force, inducement and fraudulent means.
The Freedom of Religion Bill 2019 has made changes in some sections of a similar bill that was passed by the Congress government led by Virbdhra Singh in 2006. However, Congress said that the new bill had been brought only to take credit.
Replying to the debate on the bill, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said it has been brought to prohibit conversion from one religion to another by use of force, inducement and fraudulent means.
"The intention of this re-enactment is also the same as of 2006 Act. Freedom of religion has been given to people by the prohibition of (forced) conversion from one religion to another," said Thakur in the Assembly.
The Chief Minister said around 10 sections of the previous Act have been amended.
"That is the reason this new bill has been brought," he said.
However, Virbhadra Singh lambasted the government and said it had brought the new bill only to take credit as the 2006 Act had already banned forced conversions.
"The bill was brought by the government in 2006 with provisions to prohibit conversion from one religion to another religion by force or inducement. The present government has just re-enacted the law to take credit and show they have also done some work. Whatever they have done, I and my party have supported them (in passing it), " he said.
Singh said the intention of the 2006 Act was very clear. "It was to help poor people who were being induced and converted," he said.

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First Published: Aug 30 2019 | 8:43 PM IST

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