Three Christian preachers have been arrested in Madhya Pradesh for allegedly forcing some villagers to adopt Christianity by promising them money and issuing life threats if they resisted, the police said on Monday.
The police have booked the three, identified as Suresh and Deewan Singh of village Kamod and Kailash from Morani, about 35 from Barwani, and 110 km from Indore, under the state’s anti- conversion law, Rajpur sub-divisional officer of police PS Baghel said. The arrests were made on late Sunday evening following complaints from Morani villagers. The trio had been remanded in judicial custody on Monday.
A similar incident was reported in the neighbouring Khargone district a few months ago.
Baghel said the three reportedly offered villagers money government service, cows and free education for their kids if they converted to Christianity and threatened to force them out of village if they resisted besides issuing life threats to them. The villagers told the police that it was the preachers’ third visit in this connection. Police said Christian publicity material had been seized from their possession.
Detailing the incident, Baghel said the three first approached one Madan of the village on Sunday. However, when the issue turned into a heated altercation, other villagers came in support of Madan, caught the preachers and handed them over to the police in Rajpur, about eight kilometres from Morani.
Baghel said preliminary investigations had found that the trio had been associated with ex-sarpanch Ashish of Ekalbara village in Rajpur. Ashish used to organise Sunday prayers at his house which has been developed as a Christian prayer centre now, the police said.