The Mathura police arrested 7 Christian preachers on Monday night after they were accused of carrying out forced conversions in a UP village.
As per reports, these Christian preachers were active in the area named Irauli Gurjar for about a month where they were distributing Bibles to the residents. As per one of the villagers, these preachers turned aggressive and tried to forcibly convert the people on Monday night after they became exasperated with their ‘lack of success’.
These preachers have since then been produced in the court on Tuesday as a result of which they have been put in a 14 day judicial remand. This Irauli Gurjar village is predominantly inhabited by Schedule Caste families, whose total strength is considered to be about 700.
Another report has claimed that the villagers were outraged when these preachers entered a home and started praying to Jesus Christ. When people started to eye them with suspicion, they defended their actions by claiming that they were simply praying and would return back once they are done.
The villagers though, didn’t believe them and notified members of the RSS and BJP. Soon the news spread and members of various Hindu groups like VHP and Hindu Jagran Manch reached the village. The police too decided to reach the spot and took the preachers into custody.
It seems that a woman named Mamata (who had recently moved to the village after marriage) had called these preachers for a prayer on Monday. As per the family members of Mamata, apart from praying, these preachers even started insulting other deities.
SP Aditya Shukla stated that based on the complaint made by a villager, they booked these preachers under IPC’s 295A section which deals with deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings. The accused have been identified as Stanlee Jacob, David, Vijay Kumar, Amit, Sumit Varghese, Anita and Dinesh.
Such an arrest was also reported from Madhya Pradesh in April where three Christians were arrested on the charges of indulging in forced religious conversions.
Forced conversions allegations had also surfaced against Muslim teachers of a government residential school in Haryana, where these teachers were accused of forcing Hindu students to offer Namaz and also pressurising them to convert to Islam.