The Madhya Pradesh police on Friday arrested a Catholic priest and detained 40 others, over accusations of them forcibly converting Hindus to Christianity:
The arrest which took place in the Satna district of the state, was made on the basis of a complaint by a man named Dharmendra Kumar Dohar, who alleged that he was converted to Christianity by being offered money. It has also been alleged that one of the fathers present in the group also asked villagers to take holy dips in the pond and embrace Christianity.
In his complaint, Dohar alleged that members of the Christian community have been visiting their village for the past two years and were trying to lure him with money to convert to their religion. He further claimed that because of their ‘threat’ and lure he converted to Christianity after which he received Rs 5,000 and a Bible.
On the basis of the complaint, the police arrested father George Mangalapilly who is a professor at St Ephrem’s Theological College in Satna.
As per reports the group of Christians were supposedly intercepted by Bajrang Dal activists who confronted them during a carol singing program in a village named Jawahar Nagar Bhumkahar which is about 485 km from Bhopal. As per Yatendra Pathak, Bajrang Dal’s district convener, they acted on the basis of information that missionaries were luring Dalit villagers to convert.
Later reports claimed that, some Christians including 10 priests were thrashed in front of a police station by these Bajrang Dal activists who also allegedly torched the car of a Catholic priest.
Mohinee Sharma who is the sub-inspector of Civil Lines police station acknowledged that case has been filed against unknown people in connection with the arson but denied reports of Christians getting assaulted.
All other clergy members except the arrested priest were released by the police on Friday itself.
It seems that in recent days, the police authorities have become extra active in trying to clamp down on this religious conversion business.
We had recently reported how the Mathura police had arrested 7 Christian preachers after they were accused of carrying out forced conversions in a UP village. These preachers were alleged to have distributed Bibles among the citizens and even allegedly started insulting other deities while praying at one of the villager’s house.
As per one of the villagers, these preachers turned aggressive and tried to forcibly convert the people after they became exasperated with their ‘lack of success’.