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Karnataka Cabinet Decides To Repeal Anti-Conversion Law Introduced By Previous BJP Government

The anti-conversion Bill also known as the Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021 was adopted by the Karnataka Legislative Assembly in December 2021

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar
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The Karnataka cabinet has decided to scrap the anti-conversion law introduced by previous BJP government. The government will introduce a bill in this regard in the upcoming legislature session, which starts on July 3.

"The Cabinet discussed the anti-conversion bill. We have approved the bill to repeal the changes that were brought in by them (BJP government) in 2022. It will be tabled during the session starting from July 3," Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister H K Patil told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

The anti-conversion Bill also known as the Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021 was adopted by the Karnataka Legislative Assembly in December 2021. It was aimed at preventing conversion by means of 'allurement', 'coercion', 'force', 'fraudulent means', and also 'mass conversion'. 

Congress leaders and other opposition parties criticised the law which among other things, imposed a jail term of three to 10 years and a fine of Rs 50,000 on anyone who does "illegal conversion".

The state also saw its first arrest under the law, of Syed Moyin, a Muslim man who had eloped with a young woman, on the charges of converting her to another religion in violation of the newly introduced law — the Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Act, 2022.

Ahead of the state assembly elections, Congress had promised in its manifesto to undo the changes made to school textbooks when the BJP was in power, and had also promised to scrap the National Education Policy (NEP). 

The party also promised to repeal all "unjust and anti-people laws" if it came to power.

The party stormed into the Vidhana Soudha by winning 135 out of 224 seats winning an absolute majority.

The cabinet on Thursday further approved the revision of Kannada and Social Science textbooks of class six to ten in the state, for the current academic year by removing the chapters on RSS founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar and Hindutva ideologue V D Savarkar among others.

It has also consented to add chapters on Savitribai Phule, Nehru's letters to Indira Gandhi and poetry on BR Ambedkar, and do away with the changes that were brought in by the previous BJP government.

(This is a developing story. More details are awaited.)

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