The Indian state of Jharkhand passed an “anti-conversion bill” at its Assembly meeting on 12 August, despite demands that the bill should be sent to a select committee for further scrutiny. “This is not normal,” Indian journalist Anto Akkara told World Watch Monitor. “It shows the growing arrogance of the Hindu nationalists.”

The opposition party said there was no need for the new law, reported the Indian Express. “There are already penal provisions in the Indian Penal Code for those indulging in coercive conversion or using allurement,” said Stephen Marandi of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, the only other party to win seats at the last general election in a state dominated by the Hindu nationalist BJP. READ MORE