In the early hours of Saturday (January 29), Tamil Nadu police arrested Ganesh Babu, an RSS volunteer from the Pudukottai district who had filed a complaint alleging religious conversion in his neighbourhood. The incident occurred on January 21 and Ganesh was arrested on Saturday and produced before a magistrate on Sunday. He has been lodged in the Aranthangi sub-jail. A case has been registered under sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 294(b) (obscenity), 387 (extortion) of the IPC and the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act.
According to reports, the purported action was taken against the RSS activist for stopping two nuns, namely Rani and Devasanthi, from trying to convince his family members to convert to Christianity.
Ganesh Babu wrote a letter to the Pudukottai Superintendent of Police in which he mentioned how on January 21, 2022, at around 6 30 PM, two unidentified women had come to his home saying that they were from the church and had come to spread the ‘gospel of Jesus’.
Nuns used derogatory language against Hindu deities leading to an altercation
He further stated that the two evangelists allegedly informed him that if he converted to Christianity, his family would be “taken care of by Jesus” and had given him some Christian books. Ganesh Babu and his family opposed this. He informed the ladies that they were Hindus and that their clan deity (kuladeivam) was the Malayadikaruppar, and he requested that they leave his house right now. When the two missionary ladies referred to Hindu gods as “stones,” “satans,” and “ghosts,” a furious altercation occurred between them, informed Ganesh Babu.
When Ganesh Babu said he would call the police, the missionary ladies allegedly told him that ‘he can’t even pluck a hair’ because they have been doing it for a long time, especially in the nearby villages of Irundhirapatti, Mettupatti, Kattakutti, Irappoosal, Iluppur, Melappatti, Navampatti, and others, and no one from those villages could stop them. They allegedly threatened to kill him as well.
The two missionary women were trying to lure Hindu children by offering them chocolates and gifts: RSS volunteer arrested by Tamil Nadu police reveals
The RSS worker further added that after the two women left his house he heard some commotion in the village. When he went to check, he saw that the duo had been going door-to-door and engaging in conversion activities after they left his house.
According to Ganesh Babu’s complaint letter to the SP, the two ladies were held by a few local residents after they allegedly gave chocolates and gifts to neighbourhood children and spoke disparagingly about Hinduism.
Ganesh Babu along with a few other locals informed the Iluppur police and the two women were handed over to Inspector Ushanandhini and Sub-Inspector Rex Stalin.
When Ganesh Babu and members of the village went to the police station on January 27 to inquire about the progress of the complaint, the officers informed them that they had received a complaint against them as well and requested them to submit a written complaint, which they did on January 28.
When Ganesh and his relative Kumar went to receive the copy of the CSR, they were told to pick it up the next morning.
RSS worker allegedly threatened with slapping of false case under SC/ST Act against him
On January 28, about 1 am, the Deputy Superintendent, Sub-Inspector, and Inspector, as well as four constables, arrived and took Ganesh Babu away in a jeep.
Officials from the police department allegedly asked him to retract the complaint and threatened to pursue bogus charges under several statutes, including the Prevention of Atrocities against SC/ST Act.
Ganesh Babu had stated that he would not withdraw the complaint and that he was prepared to take legal action in response to the allegations levelled against him. He was released, but he was instructed to return the next day at 11 am to withdraw his complaint. Ganesh Babu was apprehended in the wee hours of January 29.
Protests erupt after police’s unjustified action against RSS worker
The locals of the village, together with Hindu organisations, took to the streets to protest Ganesh Babu’s arrest after the Tamil Nadu police took arbitrary action against the RSS volunteer. People gathered outside the police station to stage a protest against Ganesh Babu’s arrest.
Ganesh Babu, who complained against religious conversions in and around his area was arrested by Tamil Nadu Police from his house in the midnight. Following this, locals gathered near the police station in the area, protesting against the arrest.— Surajit Dasgupta (@surajitdasgupta) January 30, 2022
District Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu: pic.twitter.com/YVgV7sH7pL
புதுக்கோட்டை மாவட்டத்தில் தான் வசித்து வரும் பகுதிகளைச் சுற்றி நடக்கும் கட்டாய மதமாற்றத்திற்கு எதிராக காவல் நிலையத்தில் புகார் அளித்த கணேஷ் பாபு என்பவரை காரணமின்றி நள்ளிரவு அவர் வீட்டில் இருந்து கைது செய்த காவல் துறையினரை கண்டித்து அப்பகுதி மக்கள் போராட்டம்!. pic.twitter.com/kZJU7TNGoj— Anand T Prasad (@itisatp) January 30, 2022
Members of the BJP and various Hindu organisations, as well as Ganesh’s family, blocked Illupur-Viralimalai Road in protest of Ganesh Babu’s detention. When the police arrived, they seized over 100 people and took them to a private wedding venue. Later, BJP state president K Annamalai announced a protest against his arrest.
புதுக்கோட்டை – மதமாற்றத்திற்கு எதிராக புகார் அளித்த கணேஷ் பாபுவின் கைதை கண்டிப்பும், அவரை உடனடியாக விடுதலை செய்ய வேண்டும் எனக் கோரியும் அப்பகுதி கிராம மக்கள் மற்றும் ஹிந்து அமைப்பினர் பல்வேறுவிதமான போராட்டங்களை நடத்தி வருகின்றனர். pic.twitter.com/ccVOxQ2FmC— Anand T Prasad (@itisatp) January 30, 2022
Meanwhile, justifying its arbitrary action against the RSS volunteer, the Pudukkottai Superintendent of Police (SP) Nisha Parthiban told TNIE: “The two nuns were on their way to visit an acquaintance in the village. It is said that they often visited people’s houses and were not new to the place.”
At that time, a group of more than 20 people, including Ganesh Babu (38), waylaid their two-wheeler and seized their mobile phones, claiming the nuns were trying to convert Hindus in the area to Christianity, said the police adding that following the incident, the two nuns had reached the church in Illupur on foot, and later lodged a complaint with the police. On Saturday evening, the police registered a case of unlawful restraint against the accused and arrested Ganesh Babu.