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In Agra, a ‘ghar wapsi’ that never was

'There had been no religious conversion in Agra.'

By: Express News Service | Lucknow | Published: February 3, 2015 4:35:20 am
A number of residents had left the Ved Nagar Basti in Agra after the ‘ghar wapsi’ programme. (Source:  Express Archive) A number of residents had left the Ved Nagar Basti in Agra after the ‘ghar wapsi’ programme. (Source: Express Archive)

In a fresh twist to the ‘ghar wapsi’ programme organised by the Dharm Jagran Manch, a unit of RSS, in Agra in December last year, the Uttar Pradesh Minorities Commission Monday claimed that 60 families who were allegedly converted to Hinduism are still Muslims.

The Commission, which submitted an inquiry report into the incident to the state government, has also recommended action against local intelligence unit (LIU) officials for laxity.

The Commission, which had sent a four member team to Agra and Aligarh to inquire into the alleged ‘ghar wapsi’, claimed that the families, mostly from West Bengal and Bihar and belonging to the poor sections of the society, were promised houses and made to sit near the ‘hawan kund’. The event was later propagated as religious conversion, it said.

“There had been no religious conversion in Agra. The families are still Muslims. We had seen them offering namaz. It was wrongly projected that they have become Hindus. They were lured for houses,” Shafi Azmi, a member of the Commission who visited Agra and Aligarh said talking to the reporters here.

The Commission, in its report, has blamed the local intelligence officials for failing to have any information about the Agra event. At Aligarh, the report claims, the organisers had taken prior permission from college authorities for organising the event and even had distributed pamphlets. The programme, however, could not be held in Aligarh.

The report has recommended strengthening of intelligence network and punishing the lower level employees. It also recommended that state government should provide shelter, education and employment to such persons so that they are not lured for religious conversion in future. It also recommended fixing individual accountability of officials in such sensitive cases and activating local peace committees.

The commission’s team met various journalists, social workers, organisations during their visit to Agra and Aligarh and took their memorandums. The Muslim groups blamed local Hindu Jagaran Manch leader Ajju Chauhan and BJP leader Beni Singh in Agra for their role behind the alleged ‘ghar wapasi’ programme.

UP PRD told to give info on ghar wapsi 

State Information Commissioner (SIC) Hafiz Usman has directed the State Information and Public Relations Department to provide information to one Sidharth Narain on the department’s role in highlighting preventive steps taken by the government during ‘ghar wapsi’ campaign by Hindu outfits.

Usman, in his interim order, has directed the IPRD to provide the information within 30 days while slating the case for next hearing on March 13. Sidharth Narain, a Lucknow-based lawyer, had approached the information commissioner after IPRD did not respond to his RTI seeking reply on their role during the ‘ghar wapasi’ programmes by Hindu outfits in December.

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