Agra conversion row: Muslim groups demand action and protection

  • Hemendra Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, Agra
  • Updated: Dec 11, 2014 10:57 IST

Islamic organisations took to the streets on Wednesday protesting the alleged forced conversion of 57 Muslim families to Hinduism and demanding protection to vulnerable members of the community.

A meeting was held at Mantola, a Muslim-majority area, where protesters blocked the main road running through it.

Leaders and clerics cautioned the district administration to impose strict checks on people loyal to hard-line Hindu outfits such as the Bajrang Dal.

Mufti Abdul Khubeb Rumi condemned the alleged trickery used by organisers of Monday’s conversion camp to lure poor Muslim families into it with the promise of ration cards and other doles.

He said those involved in wrongful deeds must be brought to book but appealed to Muslims to adopt “peaceful measures to counter notorious elements indulging in conversions”.

The mufti said these families would continue to be Muslim despite their conversion because there’s no need for a re-entry into Islam.

“There had been queries regarding the religious status of these 57 families. These Muslims have denied being converted to Hinduism and so they continue to be Muslim.”

Cleric Syed Ikhtiyar Jafri echoed the mufti’s views. “Any conversion made under force or forgery is no conversion. It is matter of belief and once they stated that they haven’t switched to Hinduism, there is no need for them to follow any formal ritual to return to Islam.”

Haji Jamiluddin Qureshi, president of the Rashtriya Sarvdaliya Muslim Action Committee, held the the Narendra Modi government responsible for not restraining groups like the Bajrang Dal from fomenting trouble. “Such incidents have created an atmosphere of fear among Muslims and sparked communalism. Bajrang Dal people intend to disturb the peace and harmony.”

Later, the protesters submitted a memorandum to the additional district magistrate and the superintendent of police. SP Sameer Saurabh said forces were stationed at sensitive places.

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