A new case of mass-scale religious conversions has come to the fore in Gujarat. Four Muslims from Pursa village in Bharuch’s Amod taluka and one maulvi from Bharuch have been detained on allegations of converting a Hindu man to Islam by coercion. Pursa village is very near to the Kankaria village in Amod Taluka where in November 2021 an FIR was registered over forced religious conversion of 100 Hindus from tribal Vasava community.
The five accused in Pursa case are are Anvarkha Ibrahim Pathan, Gemalsang Bharatsang Singha, Imran Nurbha Malek, and Jahangir Gulam Sardar Malek. They threatened a Hindu man named Chhagan Rayaji Parmar about 12 to 15 years ago, telling him he had to convert to Islam or leave the village. They converted him to Islam and called him Abdul Rehman Parmar with the help of a Maulavi from Bholav named Maulvi Abdul Rahim Hafeji Napavala.
One of the offenders, Anvarkha Ibrahim Pathan, presented an affidavit providing the victim a plot, while Imran Nurbhai Malek made an affidavit promising to undertake the construction of a residential structure. The two others, Gemalsang Bharatsang Singha and Jahangir Gulam Sardar Malek, threatened the victim to convert to Islam or leave the village. The victim worked at the Pursa village’s Mariam Masjid. He said that he had not received his wages in two years.
As per the report, investigation has been handed up to the Jambusar DYSP. The accused have been charged in accordance with the Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act.
Mass religious conversion in Bharuch
Mass religious conversions to Islam were recently reported in Bharuch, Gujarat where Muslims forcefully converted several people from tribal communities to Islam.
As OpIndia reported in November 2021, an FIR was filed against Fefdawala Haji Abdullah, Salahuddin Sheikh, and others on the complaint of one Pravin Vasava of Kankariya village in Amod Taluka of Bharuch district in Gujarat, alleging that religious conversion of people from the Vasava community (Scheduled Tribe) to Islam was carried out by luring them with financial gains such as a job, a house, and a prospective girl for marriage. The FIR detailed how donations from other countries were transferred to India to aid in the operations of the aforementioned religious conversion.
The network’s branches were also connected with the Uttar Pradesh mass religious conversion racket, which was discovered in June-July 2021, and Salahuddin Sheikh was one of the key suspects, along with Umar Gautam. It was claimed that donations were funnelled by Fefdawala and others through Sheikh’s NGO AFMI and utilised for anti-social activities. The Home Ministry terminated the NGO’s FCRA registration in December 2021.
Ground reporting was also done by OpIndia on the issue of religious conversions in Bharuch which can be read here.