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FIR against forced religious conversion in Agra

PTI
Published Dec 11, 2014, 12:04 am IST
Updated Mar 30, 2019, 7:52 am IST
The reports states that promises such as getting BPL cards were made
The reports states that promises such as getting BPL cards were made. (Photo: Twitter)
 The reports states that promises such as getting BPL cards were made. (Photo: Twitter)

Agra: Police have filed an FIR against a Hindu outfit, an RSS offshoot, over the alleged forced reconversion of about 100 people to Hinduism here on Monday.

The Sadar Bazaar Police, which filed the FIR, launched investigation into the case against Dharma Jagran Manch and its UP convener Kishore.

 

About 100 people, mostly Muslim slum dwellers, were re-converted and "brought back" to the Hindu fold after a ritual that included tying of sacred threads on their wrists and putting vermilion mark on their foreheads in Devnagar locality.

Read: Misled into conversion, say Muslim families in Agra

The converts also participated in a yagya in which they offered ghee for the holy fire.

Police registered cases under Section 153 (A) (promoting enmity between different groups) and Section 415 (using fraudulent means) of the IPC.

It has been alleged in the FIR that promises were held out by the organisers, which included getting BPL cards and housing plots for those who embraced Hinduism.

Meanwhile, several Muslim organisation under the banner of the All Party Muslim Action Committee staged a dharma and blocked traffic in Mantola area as police prevented a procession from being taken out.

A meeting held at the dharna spot was presided over by president of the Committee Waji Bilal Qureshi, who condemned the move, saying that in Islam there was no scope for a Muslim to change his religion.

Read: Mass conversions in Agra? Uproar in Parliament, Opposition demands answer

He said the action of RSS, Bajrang Dal and Dharma Jagran was unconstitutional, and there should be an inquiry.

President of the Hindustani biradari Siraj Qureishi termed the attempt to convert poor Muslims as "unconstitutional".

Congress leader Manish Tewari termed the move as "disgusting" and a "serious crime".

"Stern action should be taken against those responsible. If such incidents are happening in a secular country like India, government should take the people involved to task," he said.

Dismissing the charge of forceful conversion, BJP leader Kalraj Mishra said there cannot be any forceful conversion.

"If anyone wants to change their religion wilfully, there are provisions in our Constitution for that. And if these conversions are wilful, there is no need to give it a political colour," he said.

Congress leader Digvijay Singh charged that the main aim of BJP and Sangh was to polarise society.

Avnindra Yadav, Director of the Zila Sahkari Bank, said the conversion event was "part of the hidden agenda of the RSS and BJP to spread poison in society".

Meanwhile, Ajju Chauhan of the Bajrang Dal said in a statement that Muslims had embraced Hinduism on their own accord and no promises of making Aadhar Cards for them had been made.

He said the Arya Samaj ritual had been used for initiating Muslims into the Hindu fold.

Rajeshwar Singh, area chief of the Dharma Jagran Samanvay Vibhag, had claimed that "They (convertees) were interested in coming back home (to the Hindu fold),"

He had said that the people who underwent conversion were from West Bengal and were living in slums ever since they had arrived here some 25 years ago.

The organisers of the event said the room in which the re-conversion ceremony took place was transformed into a makeshift temple and idols of Hindu gods and goddesses were placed there.

The convertees would be given instructions to perform rituals according to Hindu religion for a month, the organisers had said, adding they will also be given new names soon. 

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