Amid some media reports that Cabinet minister Azam Khan wants 80 alleged unauthorised houses removed from a Valmiki colony in Rampur, the Uttar Pradesh government has announced that it does not have any plans to demolish the said structures. The government also claimed that no religious conversion will take place in the area.
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“As of now there are no plans to demolish the houses of Valmiki community so there is no point of staging dharna,” Navneet Sehgal, Principal Secretary, Information and Public Relations said. District Magistrate Rampur C P Tripathi has already submitted a detailed report to the state government on the incident. Despite government assurance, the Valmiki community members continued with their dharna and had called a meeting late Monday night to discuss the religious conversion issue. “We will not withdraw our agitation unless it is confirmed that our houses will not be demolished in future also,” Dharam Valmiki, a local resident and a member of Valmiki Basti Bachao Sangarsh Samiti, said.
Earlier, protesting against the Rampur district administration’s move, the Valmiki families had announced that they will embrace Islam to protect the houses where they had been living for last 60 years. A cleric from Bareilly Furqan Raza also reached Valmiki community and claimed that any religious conversion under force or greed is not permissible.