A week after insisting that there was no evidence of conversion, forced or otherwise, the Ratlam Police has booked the organiser of a Pentecostal convention under the state’s anti-conversion law.
The convention, organised by the Indian Pentecostal Church of God and the United Christian Council (UCC) on December 12, at Ratlam was attended by ailing tribals from nearby areas who were promised free treatment.
Alleging that the organisers had promised the tribals jobs and money to convert them to Christianity, activists of Hindu Jagaran Manch informed the authorities and brought the convention to a halt.
Station Road Police Station in-charge Rajesh Chouhan told The Sunday Express that Jose Matthew of UCC and others had been booked after preliminary investigation and after recording statements of some tribals who attended the convention.
However, he said no one has been arrested so far. The police have booked Matthew, a resident of Bajrang Nagar, under the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 1968.
The police were initially reluctant to register a case but the right-wing organisation threatened to stage protests if the police failed to act. The organisers had denied the allegations about conversion claiming that it was a spiritual event.
Ratlam-based RSS leader Dr Ratnadeep Nigam, who is Prachar Pramukh of Ujjain Vibhag, alleged that the police were acting under pressure from missionaries and had tried to dismiss the case but were forced to act after “honest statements by tribals” and solid evidence.