A team of Odisha Police will be visiting West Bengal to ascertain the accusations of religious conversion being carried out by an NGO at one of its shelter home in the West Bengal.
According to the reports, an NGO named ‘Good News India’, that wanted to bring the ‘Good News of Jesus’ and ‘connect with savages’, has been alleged to have indulged in sexual harassment of inmates at one of their shelter homes at Beltikiri in Dhenkanal district. The Odisha police had arrested three persons, including the Managing Director of the NGO, Fayaz Rahman in connection with the case.
Santosh Nayak, SP of Dhenkanal speaking to the media said that they have got some indication that religious conversion of inmates was being undertaken at the NGO’s shelter home at Salgadia in West Bengal. The district police have also sought permission from senior officials to visit West Bengal in this connection with the case.
The Odisha police had received information from Fayaz Rahman, who was in two-day police custody. The police have said that Fayaz has given information regarding the religious conversion of inmates at a West Bengal shelter home run by the NGO. Meanwhile, a local POCSO court has extended the custody of Rahman for another two days which had ended on Wednesday.
Referring to the video clippings of ‘Duban’- a ritual performed for conversion to Christianity, being telecasted on the electronic media, the SP said that the rituals shown in the video were not performed at any shelter home in Odisha. However, the police said that they have received an indication that it was instead performed by an NGO at Salgadia in West Bengal. The police confirmed that they are sending a team to the West Bengal to further investigate the case.
We had also reported earlier how Good News NGO seems to be a front for conversion. One look at their website and the conversion rhetoric was evident. In the webpage that spoke about Fayaz Rehman, there was even a portion where they had asserted the Good News does not let the children go after their 10th grade like other NGOs because they run the risk of “returning to Paganism”.
According to the police, the NGO, ‘Good News India’ has not been registered in Odisha. The SP said, “The NGO, was registered in West Bengal under the Bengal Society Registration Act. It had not been able to produce any document regarding its registration in Odisha.”
The Odisha police said they have verified the documents of the NGO regarding central registration for overseas funding. They have also checked other documents related to the utilisation certificate, the audit report and the filing of Income Tax returns.
Reportedly, the NGO receives overseas fund nearly Rs 15 crore to Rs 16 crore every year and spends the money for maintenance of shelter homes, construction of new homes and purchase of land to set up its infrastructure, the SP said.
The SP further said they have recorded the statement of the inmates of the shelter home in Dhenkanal in the presence of the District Magistrate as evidence. There is enough evidence that the children were subjected to sexual abuse at the shelter home in Odisha, he said.
While the sexual abuse in missionary-run organizations has been talked about in media outlets all over the world, we have reported extensively on the religious zeal of missionaries. While running charity and shelter homes for the express purpose of religious conversions may appear inexplicable to some, it is the normal course of action for evangelical organizations.
Not merely charity, as we have reported earlier, evangelicals also ask their followers to make acquaintances with the sole objective of religious conversion in mind. Evangelicals zealously believe that unless and until every group in the world has Christian representation, Judgment Day will not arrive. Hence, they dedicate the entirety of their resources to secure the conversion of people.