Conversions: FIR lodged against organiser

conversions-in-agraThe police has registered an FIR at Agra against one Nand Kishor of Dharm Jagran Manch, for allegedly converting around 2​50 Muslims belonging to sixty families to Hindu religion. ​

The police sources said the FIR has been lodged for fraudulently inducing people to change their faith. Many of whom, who were converted to Hinduism, said yesterday ​that ​they were still Muslims​. While some ​others admitted that they had joined the RSS and Bajrang Dal-organized ‘ghar vapsi’ ceremony after being promised ration cards​, BPL card​ and houses. The saffron outfits, ​however​, rubbished this claim, saying there was no inducement for “reconversion”.​

When the matter came into the light, the local administration took cognisance of it and inquired about the ground realities. The conversion function was​ allegedly​ organized by Bajrang Dal and Dharma Jagran Samanvay Vibhag, an offshoot of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh​.​

Opposition Parties in the Rajya Sabha today expressed serious concern over forcible religious conversions by alluring poor people and demanded a statement from the Government. Responding to their concerns over the conversions in Agra, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Muktar Abbas Naqvi informed that an FIR has already been registered on the matter. He said the Government is committed to upholding the Constitution and secularism. The Minister also objected over naming any organisation in the matter.

Raising the issue earlier, BSP leader Mayawati alleged that the organisations that are supporting the Government are behind the conversions. She urged the Government to take stringent steps against those who are behind the religious conversions. Quoting media reports, Ms Mayawati urged the government to prevent conversions planned for this month end in Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh. Members from Congress, SP, TMC and Left parties also voiced their concerns over the conversions.

Smajawdi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav has said that strict action will be taken against the people who are allegedly involved in the forceful religious conversion in Agra. Talking to reporters outside Parliament, Mr. Yadav said that an FIR has already been filed in the case and people involved in it will soon be arrested. He said the move to convert around five thousand Muslims and Christians into Hinduism on 25th this month in Aligarh will be foiled. On the other hand, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad blamed the opposition for making issue out of non-issues. He said that if the people have done something voluntarily, it is their right. Mr. Prasad, however, said if there has been coercion, the local administration will say about it.

Meanwhile, Opposition parties today sharply reacted on the reports that over 200 Muslims in Agra, Uttar Pradesh were forcefully converted into Hinduism by a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh outfit. Madhusudan Mistry of the Congress told reporters outside Parliament that religion is a private issue and everyone has the right to choose his or her religion. He said that if someone has forcefully converted, then action should be taken against such people.

CPI leader D Raja said that forcible conversions are a violation of the Constitution and the government should take serious note. He said that such things are on the increase after the BJP led government came to power at the centre. However, BJP leader and Union Minister Kalraj Mishra countered the allegations that the people were forced to convert their religion. He said they have taken the decision on their own. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said that no one can force any one to change the religion. He told reporters outside Parliament that Hinduism never allures people to convert religion but if someone wants to embrace Hinduism, then it should be welcomed.

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