Lucknow : As the issue of religious conversion comes into spotlight with the film, ‘The Kerala Story’, based on interviews and research with love jihad victims, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s efforts to stop cases of love jihad and forcible religious conversions are being applauded across the country.
The Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act was put into effect in UP by the Yogi government on November 27, 2020. Since then, the government has set an example by taking severe measures against those who are accused of practicing love jihad and religious conversion.
According to the information available, 427 conversion-related cases were reported in UP between January 1, 2021, and April 30, 2023. In this, more than 833 arrests have been made so far. In 185 cases, the victims have even confessed before the court that they were forcibly converted. Simultaneously, 65 cases of conversion of minors have been registered so far.
Maximum cases were registered in Bareilly zone-
In total, UP registered 427 cases of religious conversion. The Bareilly zone reported a maximum of 86 cases while, 59 cases were registered in Gorakhpur, 53 in Lucknow, 47 in Meerut, 46 in Prayagraj, and 39 in Varanasi.
In terms of commissionerate, 20 cases were registered in Lucknow, 19 in Kanpur, 13 in Prayagraj, and 10 in Noida.
Furthermore, 299 were named in FIRs registered in Prayagraj, 235 in Bareilly, 153 in Lucknow zone, 141 in Meerut, 135 in Varanasi, and 128 in Gorakhpur.
A maximum of 121 cases came to light in Prayagraj zone while 34 cases were detected in Lucknow, 28 in Bareilly, 27 in Agra, and 16 each in Gorakhpur and Varanasi zones.
In terms of arrests of the accused, Prayagraj zone tops the list with 163 arrests. Besides, 137 arrests were made in Bareilly, 124 in Lucknow, 101 in Varanasi, 81 in Gorakhpur, 65 in Meerut, 37 in the Agra zone, and 21 in Kanpur.
65 victims of conversion were below 18 years-
So far, 65 cases of conversion of minors have been registered, including 12 cases related to minors registered in the Meerut zone, 10 in Gorakhpur, 9 in Bareilly, 5 in Agra, 4 cases each in Lucknow and Prayagraj, and 2 cases in Varanasi.
There were 5 cases registered in Commissionerate Lucknow, 4 each in Kanpur and Ghaziabad, 3 in Prayagraj, and 2 in Noida. Due to the stern action of the UP Police, the cases under investigation are also being disposed of quickly. Only 13 cases are under consideration in the Lucknow zone and 12 in the Gorakhpur zone. Investigation is going on in the remaining 9 cases in Prayagraj, 8 in Bareilly, 3 in Meerut and two cases in Varanasi. Actions are quickly being taken to dispose of those cases.
185 victims confessed to being forcibly converted-
According to the Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance, 2020, the figures from January 1, 2021 to April 30, 2023, reveal that as many as 185 victims have confessed before the court that they were forcibly converted. 47 victims in Bareilly, 32 in Meerut, 13 in Prayagraj, 12 in Gorakhpur, 11 in Agra, 10 in Lucknow, and 10 in Varanasi zone have confessed the same.