A Pentecostal convention in Ratlam came to an abrupt end Friday after a group of right-wing activists brought the administration and police to the venue after accusing the organisers of converting tribals by offering money and other allurements.
Hindu Jagran Manch (HJM) activists alleged that illiterate tribals from Bajna and Sailana were brought to a venue on Power House Road in Ratlam town with a promise to cure their ailments and promised jobs and money.
Called Changai Sabha’, the meet was organised by the local body and addressed by preachers from Kerala and Bhopal. The HJM said the organisers had arranged for food and accommodation of the tribals and told the potential converts that only Christianity can ensure salvation, not their old religion.
CSP P S Ranawat told The Indian Express that no evidence about the alleged conversions, forced or otherwise, was found in the initial probe by the police. He said the police had spoken to a few tribals but none confirmed the allegation. He said the police could not take statements of the organisers because there was tension in the air.
After the police assured them of action, the Manch said its activists would wait till Saturday for a case to be registered against the organisers or decide the next course of action after the deadline was over.
Ranawat said between 100 and 150 tribals participated in the convention addressed by five preachers. When told about the deadline given by the HJM, the CSP chose not to speak about it.
Police announces reward for accused in Agra conversion row
LUCKNOW: Agra police on Friday got a non-bailable warrant issued and also announced a reward of Rs 5,000 for the arrest of Kishori Lal Balmiki, who is accused of allegedly “converting” Muslims by allurement and cheating in Agra. A local court issued the non-bailable warrant against Balmiki on the application of the investigating officer in the case, IG Law and Order A Satish Ganesh told reporters here. He, however, said there was still no information on the background of Balmiki. An FIR was lodged against him Wednesday on the complaint of Ismail Khan, one of the Muslims who was allegedly converted at a religious “homecoming” ceremony in Agra.
Replying to a question, Ganesh said no family had migrated from the slum where they live in Agra. He said the families are scared but the district administration and police have been providing assistance to them.
Try and convert me if you can: Akhilesh dares BJP
Kanpur: Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav Friday alleged that the BJP was “misguiding” people in the name of religious conversions and challenged the saffron party to “try and convert” him. “People gave BJP most seats in the recent Lok Sabha polls. But the party is fooling the same people on the name of religious conversion,” the chief minister said. He threw a challenge before the BJP, saying it should “try to convert him to another religion”.