Maharashtra’s women and child development minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha, while speaking in the Maharashtra assembly, said that there are more than one lakh cases of love jihad in the state.
This claim is proven false as a panel that was set up to track cases of inter-faith marriages did not find a single case of alleged ‘love jihad’ in the state.
Last year in December, the Maharashtra government had announced a panel to track inter-religious marriages, headed by Lodha himself. According to the government, the objective of the panel is to monitor inter-religious marriages in the state and provide assistance to distressed women in such marriages. Earlier this panel was supposed to monitor inter-caste marriages as well, but after protests, this point was removed from this panel.
Several parties opposed this panel, but the panel was constituted in December. When Samajwadi Party MLA Rais Shaikh wrote to the Maharashtra Women and Development Ministry inquiring about the number of cases before the committee, he received a reply stating that the committee has zero cases so far.