‘Photos of Hindu gods, goddesses thrown out of houses’: 9 booked in UP over forced religious conversions

‘Photos of Hindu gods, goddesses thrown out of houses’: 9 booked in UP over forced religious conversions

The accused allegedly forced some locals to convert to Christianity in exchange for their earlier help during the COVID lockdown

An FIR has been registered against nine people, including three women, for allegedly forcing some people in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut to change their religion in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut, police said on Saturday.

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The accused allegedly forced some locals to convert to Christianity in exchange for their earlier help during the COVID lockdown period and also threatened them against going to police.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Rohit Singh Sajwan said a complaint was lodged regarding religious conversions and Brahmapuri police station had been asked to investigate the matter.

"On the basis of the preliminary investigation report, a case was registered against nine people, including three women, on Friday. The investigation is going on," the officer said.

The nine people have been booked under Section 3, 5(1) of the Uttar Pradesh Unlawful Conversion Prohibition Act. They have been identified as Chhabili alias Shiva, Binwa, Anil, Sardar, Nikku, Basant, Prema, Titli and Reena.

Of the nine persons named in the FIR, three have been arrested, said police. “Teams have been formed to arrest the rest,” said Piyush Kumar Singh, Superintendent of Police, Meerut.

The FIR, filed by a few residents of Mangatapuram Colony, stated that the accused helped some people during COVID-induced lockdowns and encouraged them to visit church.

Accused forced people to change religion is exchange for COVID help

According to the complainants, the accused provided food and financial assistance to the poor living in the area and then forced them to convert to Christianity.

"Not only this, pictures of Hindu gods and goddesses are also being thrown out by the accused from the houses of the people of Mangatapuram Colony. On protesting or complaining about the incident to anyone, the accused come home with knives and sticks and threaten to kill," according to the complaint, PTI reported.

Local BJP leader Deepak Sharma claimed that more than 100 people had allegedly been converted to Christianity.

"This has been going on for the past three years. During the COVID-19 period, the people were given ration and money to convert to Christianity. Now, other people are being threatened to convert as well," Sharma alleged.

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