On Saturday (September 11), the police arrested a 40-year-old man for attempting to forcibly convert his Hindu neighbour to Christianity. The incident took place in Mahoba district in the Chitrakoot Division of Uttar Pradesh.
As per reports, the accused has been identified as one Ashish John. His Hindu neighbour, Sachin Dwivedi, had informed that John had given him a drink when he complained of a ‘persistent headache.’ However, when the pain refused to subside, he told John that his drink did not work. At that point, the Christian man told Dwivedi that his ailments can go away if he converts to Christianity. Dwivedi was given several books and told that he would receive a sum of ₹12,000 to start a business, as a reward for converting to Christianity.
As per Dwivedi’s complaint, a few days later, the accused Ashish John forced the victim to accompany him to the local church. On refusing, John cursed that the headache would continue. Fed up by his consistent attempts to convert him by fear, threat and bribery, Dwivedi filed a complaint with the Panwadi police station. A case was thus registered against John under the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Law Sections 3 and 5. Hindu rights organisations also held demonstrations demanding the arrest of the accused.
The accused was nabbed from the Mahoba district of Uttar Pradesh following a complaint by his neighbour Sachin Dwivedi. John, a native of Ballia district, was sent to judicial custody after being produced before a local court. Reportedly, the accused had converted to Christianity 20 years ago and have tried to convert multiple people by offering them money.
5 people arrested in UP under anti-conversion law
In January this year, Shahjahanpur (Uttar Pradesh) police had lodged an FIR against five people, including two from Tamil Nadu, under the new anti-conversion law for allegedly convincing people to convert to Christianity. Quoting the complaint, the police informed that a few of them were seen convincing people to convert to Christianity with the promise of “good job and good education to children.”
The Yogi Adityanath government in UP had passed the Uttar Pradesh Vidhi Virudh Dharmantaran ordinance in November 2020 to curb the menace of forceful religious conversions in the state.