The conversion of two Dalit youths from Shivpuri snowballed into a law and order issue on Tuesday as seven more members of their family sought to convert to Islam while Hindu organisations tried to convince them to not change their faith.
Tularam and Maniram, the two youths who were booked under the anti-conversion law last week, and seven family members turned up at the collectorate in Shivpuri with affidavits saying they want to convert to Islam of their own volition and that they had not been offered money or anything else.
Collector Rajeev Dubey told The Indian Express that the nine persons were sent back and told to follow proper procedure for conversion. He said the law mandates application from those presiding over the conversion ceremony, and not the potential convert. The nine members told district authorities that they had already started practising Islam by offering namaaz.
While an additional district magistrate sent the nine persons back, the police detained them. SDOP (Shivpuri) S K Tomar said nobody was arrested and that police detained them only because their presence was turning into a law and order issue. He said arrests, if any, would be done by the Khaniyadhana Police Station.
The in-charge of Khaniyadhana station Y S Jadaun, too, said nobody had been arrested. He said though there was no tension in the village, some family members were apprehensive about the conversion. The parents of the wife of Rajesh, Tularam’s cousin, took her home because they are against their daughter’s conversion to Islam, Jadaun added.
Earlier, the district administration had not been able to trace Maniram Jatav, a resident of Chhirwaha, and his brother-in-law Tularam, a resident of Bukarra on Monday and had posted police in both villages as a precautionary measure.