ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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UP: Religious Places Bill

UP: Religious Places Bill

State regulation of religious places may seem a secular effort. But the new UP law is likely to target Muslim places of worship and learning while leaving intact Hindu temples.

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government in Uttar Pradesh passed the controversial UP Regulation of Public Religious Building and Places Bill amid loud protests from a united opposition in both houses of the state legislature during the short winter session in the first week of January.

After Rajasthan, which enacted a very similar legislation 46 years ago, UP is the first state to ‘regulate’ the use of private property for public religious purposes. “No building or place”, the Act provides in Section 3, “not already used as a public religious building or public religious place before the commencement of this Act, shall, after such commencement, be used as public religious building or... place”. The Act, which extends to the whole of the state, is likely to come into force within a week.

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