Police on Monday called the allegations of “forced conversions” in a Greater Noida village false and closed investigation into the matter, with SP (Rural) Brijesh Kumar Singh stating that the complaint had been made by local BJP leaders in Kulesra village.
Meanwhile, the Dalit Valmikis who were allegedly being forced to convert to Christianity have denied the charges, police said.
Police said after the complaint was made, a team was sent to the village to investigate the matter. Police said they found that the allegations were baseless and that people were praying with the Christian pastors on their own volition.
Meanwhile, the pastors — who had been detained following the allegation — said they would be meeting with members of the Greater Noida parish to decide their next step.
“There is simply no case in the matter. If people wish to pray to a god, we can’t stop them. Freedom of religion in India is a Fundamental Right guaranteed by the Constitution. Police have no role here as long as it’s being done peacefully and without harming others,” Singh said.
Police said despite the fact that no FIR had been filed, they conducted an investigation to verify the allegations as the matter is sensitive.
“This is an area where communal tensions have been high, particularly with regard to forced conversions. But our investigation found no such thing. The pastors had come to the village to pray with the people for their good,” Singh said.
He said those who were allegedly being forced to convert to Christianity, had denied the charges. “In our interviews with Dalit Valmikis who were allegedly being forcibly converted, they spoke of no such thing. They were only praying,” he said.
Meanwhile, Reverend Wilson Joseph, president of the Calvary Ashram Seva Sangh in Greater Noida, said they had not yet filed a police complaint in the matter.
“BJP workers instigated people. The pastors who were detained have been praying in the village for seven or eight years and have never faced such accusations,” he said.