Bhopal: On the complaint of a 25-year-old woman, the Madhya Pradesh Police on Wednesday, January 27, booked her parents and nine others for forcing her to convert to Christianity under the recently passed Freedom of Religion Ordinance 2020 in Indore.
In the written complaint to Indore’s Bhanwar Kaun Police Station, Shalini Kaushal alleged that her parents – Rakesh Kaushal and Rani Kaushal – tricked her in the morning by saying that they are taking her to her grandmother’s house. Instead, they took her to a Christian community hall (Satyaprakashan Sanchar Kendra) where alleged religious conversion was underway.
The matter of religious conversion allegedly came to light after members of a right wing group, Bajrang Dal, who got a tip off from the local people, barged inside the community hall and created ruckus alleging conversation and reportedly vandalised the hall.
Later, the police from Bhanwar Kaun rushed to the spot and detained the organisers of the event and participants, the police said. Most of the participants were tribals who hail from Jhabua, Indore, Ratlam, Alirajpur and Dhar district.
In the first information report (FIR), the tribal girl, Shalini, claimed that the organisers were forcing her to sit throughout the prayers ceremony. “They told me that now I am under the guidance of Lord Jesus and all my problems and diseases will be resolved. There were many other Hindus who were forced to embrace Christianity,” she alleged.
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“When I tried to quit the ceremony, they didn’t allow me to do so and claimed that you may have come on your will, but you can’t leave this ceremony on your own will,” she further claimed in the complaint, which named nine organisers.
When contacted, Santosh Kumar, Town Inspector of Bhanwar Kaun Police Station said, “On the complaint of Bajrang Dal members, we reached the community hall and detained the organisers. Prima facie, police has booked nine people including the parents of the complaint under the relevant sections of the MP Freedom of Religion Ordinance 2020.”
This is the third case under the new MP Freedom of Religion Ordinance 2020, which was brought to stop allurement, and force religious conversion, signed by the governor on January 9.
The two earlier cases were reported from Barwani and Bhopal, where police arrested two Muslim men for raping in pretext of marriage by hiding their religious identity.
Commenting over it, father Babu Joseph, chief of Satyaprakshan Sanchar Kendra said, “Jitendra Meda, a tribal, was holding the prayers and leadership programme, to bring the backward tribals into the mainstream world, in the community hall. But members of Bajrang Dal barged in, alleging conversion. The event had nothing to do with conversion, though.”