Dharm Jagran Manch, an RSS wing, Tuesday called off the “ghar wapsi” (reconversion) programme, later renamed “ghar ghar swagat”, of 400 Muslims it had planned in Aligarh on December 25. The pro-Hindu outfit cited “threats” from the district administration to its workers and directives from top RSS leaders as reasons for cancelling the event.
“The ‘ghar wapsi’ scheduled for December 25 in Aligarh has been cancelled. The district administration was threatening our office bearers, through media and telephonic conversations, with arrest. We will meet and apprise them with our decision,” Rajeshwar Singh, Western UP in-charge of the Manch, told The Indian Express.
Satprakash Navman, convenor of the Samiti, the Manch’s local unit in Aligarh, said: “We had completed our preparations but top brass today asked us to cancel it. We have got directions from the top leadership not to go ahead with the programme”.
Singh admitted there was a plan to welcome nearly 400 Muslims during ‘ghar wapsi’ in Hindu fold in Aligarh. He claimed that these Muslims were originally Rajputs who had converted to Islam several years back. “They have reconverted back to Hindu religion and we had planned to hold the event to welcome them before people of their Rajput community,” Singh said.
The said “reconverted people” belonged to districts of Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Mathura, Hathras, Etah, Agra and Badaun.
The Manch’s decision came within hours of Prime Minister Narendra issuing a stern warning to BJP leaders, including central ministers and MPs, asking them not to cross the ‘Laxman Rekha’ with controversial remarks on issues such as conversion. Party MP from Gorakhpur Yogi Adityanath had announced to attend the Aligarh event and had put the ball in the Akhilesh Yadav government’s court challenging it to bring an anti-conversion law.
The Manch, which had also led another “ghar wapsi” of Muslims in Agra sparking a nation-wide furore, meanwhile, claimed that it will organise the cancelled event at a different venue and at a later date, which it will decide soon. Singh said the outfit “does not want to indulge in any confrontation with district administration” and has hence “called off the event for the time being”.
Soon after the Agra “ghar wapsi” and in wake of the Manch’s call for similar event in Aligarh, the UP government had issued an alert to prevent forced conversions.