9 Accused Of Forced Religious Conversions In UP During Covid Crisis
Meerut, Uttar Pradesh:
The Uttar Pradesh police on Friday registered a case over alleged forced conversion in Meerut after a local BJP leader mobilised complainants — mostly push cart vendors who live in local slums.
Nine people have been accused of forcing them to convert to Christianity in exchange for their earlier help during the Covid induced lockdowns.
The accused encouraged church visits and forced the slum dwellers to destroy idols of Hindu Gods, the police complaint filed by one of the slum dwellers says.
During the Covid lockdown, slum dwellers could not step out and struggled to manage their households. The better off, who lived in buildings in the area, offered food and money for household expenses to them, the complainant told the police.
However, the people who had helped started telling them that there is only one God — Jesus Christ — and asked them to visit the church and pray to him, the First Information Report states, adding that the complainants were asked to stop worshipping Hindu Gods and only pray to Christ.
“They also forced us to change our names in our Aadhaar cards. When we were celebrating Diwali, these people entered our houses and tore pictures of Hindu Gods and said we should pray to Christ now that we have converted,” the complainant alleged, adding that the alleged intruders started demanding Rs 2 lakh each when they protested.
They brought knives and rods, and threatened to kill us if we approached the authorities, the complaint further says.
Claiming that they have been fraudulently converted to Christianity, the complaint stresses that all are “Sanatan Dharmi (Hindus)” and urged the police to take appropriate legal action.
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