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Sitapur mass conversion racket: Police says Pastor David Asthana violated provisions of FCRA, received massive funding from foreign countries

The pastor, David Asthana, had violated the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), the police said. He received massive funds from the US, South Korea, Brazil, Kenya, and Argentina during 2014-15 and did not provide any record of it to the authorities.

There has been a significant disclosure in the mass conversion case of Sitapur in Uttar Pradesh. It has been revealed that the accused have received funding from many countries. The Sitapur police have made this big revelation. Foreign funding received by the NGO run by the main accused David Asthana has been detected in the case.

On Thursday, 22nd December 2022, the Sitapur police claimed to have unearthed foreign funding to an NGO run by prime accused David Asthana in the alleged religious conversion case. David Asthana and his wife Rohini Asthana were booked on December 19 on charges of forcible conversion after visiting Sitapur along with tourists from Brazil.

Additional Superintendent of Police Narendra Pratap Singh said that the ongoing investigation in the case has revealed that David Asthana had violated the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA). He received huge funds from the US, South Korea, Brazil, Kenya, and Argentina during 2014-15 and did not give any record of this to the authorities.

ASP Narendra Pratap Singh said, “We have detected several lakh rupees in three bank accounts of David Asthana and when confronted, he failed to give proper reasons. We have sought 14-day police custody of David Asthana from a local court, which will be heard on Friday.”

Police have also summoned the chartered account of the NGO run by David Asthana. Police sources privy to the investigation revealed that they have detected donations worth Rs 1 crore from 2018-19 and that they will write to other financial authorities soon to get more details.

Who donated money to the NGO run by Davis Asthana?

Police claim that 12 donors who donated considerable amounts to David Asthana have been traced. These include Sandra, Henry from California, and James from Texas. Also involved are Brad Sprinkler and Parkson from California, and Catherine and a pastor from Illinois. One donor Park is from South Korea and the other Andrew is from Nairobi, Kenya. Rivaldo Jose Da Silva is from Brazil. Apart from this, two others are from Argentina.

According to police, David had visited South Korea, Argentina, and Brazil. Investigations have revealed that donations from all the above people came to David’s account through an e-gateway. It was facilitated through the Calvary Church in Chennai, a senior police officer said.

David Asthana used to hold meetings for conversion

The police officer said that David used to organize large gatherings in villages in Sitapur and adjoining districts for alleged conversion before 2017. Sources said that to build his house, David had first bought a property in Sehbazpur village under the Sadarpur police station area, but later it was built as a hall. Now it was being used to gather people in one place.

The ASP told about the tourists from Brazil who came with David. They were identified as Rivaldo Joses DaSilva, Magnolia Maro Laronzera, Gulheram Nasimento Edalgo, and Alexander D’Silva. They are directed to leave India by December 29.

On Monday, December 19, a case was registered against David Asthana and his wife Rohini based on a complaint filed the previous day by Naimish Gupta, a resident of Sehbazpur village. In the complaint, Naimish Gupta alleged that the couple along with four foreign nationals, identified as Rivaldo Joses DaSilva, Magnolia Maro Laronzera, Gulheram Nasimento Edalgo, and Alexander D’Silva, participated in a mass conversion event in the village under Sadarpur police limits on Sunday.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
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