Karnataka assembly passes contentious anti-conversion bill amid protests

Amid protests by the Opposition, Karnataka Assembly on Thursday passed the anti-conversion bill or the Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021.

The Anti-Conversion Bill provides protection of the right to freedom of religion and prohibition of unlawful conversion from one religion to another by misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means.

In the Assembly, State Law and Parliamentary Affairs minister JC Madhuswamy placed on the record that this bill was actually initiated by Siddaramaiah-led government in 2016.

In response, Siddaramaiah alleged that the drafted bill prepared in 2016 was entirely different from what the current BJP government has drafted in 2021.

“We know the situation of SC and ST. They are ignored and remain vulnerable. Our intention behind bringing this bill is to protect SC, ST communities and women,” Karnataka Chief Minister Basavraj Bommai said.

During the discussion in assembly, Karnataka Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister K.S. Eshwarappa said, “We all are from the RSS and yes we borrowed from the RSS. RSS taught us to save this country, religion and culture. That’s why we have got this bill from that culture.”

(Inputs from agencies)

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