Will add points in polygamy bill to stop ‘love jihad’ too, final decision in 45 days: Assam CM

Himanta Biswa Sarma with Narendra Modi. [Photo: Wikimedia Commons]

Tinsukia: The Assam government is likely to introduce a Bill in the state assembly in December to ban polygamy, a practice of marrying more than one person (multiple spouses)

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has said that they will add some points in the bill in order to stop “Love Jihad” in the state.

Love jihad is an Islamophobic conspiracy theory developed by proponents of the Hindutva ideology purporting that Muslim men target Hindu women for conversion to Islam by means of marraige.

Sarma on Saturday addressed an all-party meeting in Assam’s Tinsukia and said that the state government, in the next 45 days, will finalise the Bill to ban polygamy in the state, ANI reported.

“A legal committee was formed to analyse whether the state government can ban polygamy or not and we have received positive thoughts. We also sought public opinions and suggestions on the proposed Bill for banning polygamy. We have received a total of 149 suggestions in response to our public notice. Out of these, 146 suggestions are in favour of the Bill and they support to ban on polygamy. However, three suggestions have expressed their opposition to banning polygamy. Our next phase is to draft the Bill,” CM Sarma said.

“We will finalize the Bill in the next 45 days. I think I will be able to introduce the Bill in the assembly in December this year”, he added.

Earlier the expert committee was formed to examine the legislative competence of the State Legislature to enact a law to end polygamy in Assam. The committee submitted its report to the Assam Chief Minister on August 6 this year.

Meanwhile, Sharma further stated, “We will add some points in the bill in order to stop Love Jihad in the state”.

Talking about the issue of withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), the Assam Chief Minister said that the state government is working on this.

“We will have to take the decision on whether AFSPA is to be withdrawn or not. It is a view of the state government and the the Union government will take the final view. I will discuss it with the Union government this month and towards the end of this month, a concrete decision will be taken,” CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said.

Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 is an act of the Parliament of India that grants special powers to the Indian Armed Forces to maintain public order in “disturbed areas”.

According to the Disturbed Areas Act, 1976 once declared ‘disturbed’, the area has to maintain the status quo for a minimum of three months.

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