Muslim lawyer accused of hosting religious conversion ceremony where anti-Hindu comments were made

A Varanasi lawyer named Shahnawaz Khan has been accused of hosting a religious conversion ceremony in his office chamber, as reported by Dainik Jagran.

As per the report, Khan had planned a conversion ceremony of a Hindu girl on Thursday evening, which was to be followed by her wedding, for which a Muslim cleric too was invited. The report also claimed that offensive statements against the Hindu religion were made, while the said conversion ceremony was on.

Around that time, other lawyers like Upendra Narayan Singh came to know about the ongoing religious conversion, following which they barged into Khan’s office and started protesting. Owing to the heavy protest, the conversion remained incomplete and participants including the Muslim cleric fled the area. Following this people led by Nityanand Rai, the former General Secretary of the Banaras Bar managed to calm the situation.

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As a result of this episode, Upendra Narayan Singh, Anurag Pandey and other lawyers wrote a letter asking the central bar to take action against those who tried to convert the girl to Islam. They have also accused Khan of hurting religious sentiments and demanded that his registration be cancelled.

A report in Navbharat Times claimed that, protests continued in the court premises on Friday, following which an emergency meeting was called. This as per the report was the first time religious conversion took place inside the court premises. It though isn’t clear whether the Hindu girl had voluntarily decided to change her religion or had she been forced instead.

With regards to the incident, lawyers have demanded that CCTV footage be used to identify the facilitators of the religious conversion ceremony, so that strict action could be taken against them.

As per an Amar Ujala report, a joint meeting would be convened between the Central and Banaras bar on Saturday, where decisions over further action would be taken. The report also claims that the religious conversion ceremony took place at about 6:30 PM where three lawyers and two women too were present.

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