The western Uttar Pradesh unit of the Dharam Jagran Samiti, an RSS-affiliate, has circulated a letter seeking donations ahead of its plan to organise a ‘homecoming’ or ‘ghar wapsi’ camp at Aligarh.
The undated letter issued by Rajeshwar Singh, the unit’s chetra pramukh, claims the ‘homecoming’ exercise has brought back to Hinduism 40,000 people in 20 districts, including 2,000 Muslims, and explains its aim to ‘reconvert’ one lakh people in 2014.
The letter has asked for donations of Rs. 2 lakh to ‘reconvert’ Christians and Rs. 5 lakh for Muslims, explaining that expenses were incurred in such exercises. Attempts made to contact the mobile number provided in the letter were not successful as it was switched off.
Offshoots of the RSS are likely to organise more such camps across districts of western UP, including riot-affected Muzaffarnagar, RSS officials indicated.
RSS office bearers have said they will continue to hold these camps, albeit secretly. “We have been doing it for a long time but the media has given the Agra camp undue hype. Therefore, our changed strategy may be to conduct such camps secretly,” said a senior RSS official.
The Sangh issued a statement saying that Arya Samaj and other organisations have been working for ‘ghar wapsi’ in a wilful manner for those who went wayward.
An Agra court, meanwhile, issued a non-bailable warrant against the main accused, Kishore Valmiki, named in the FIR filed in the case. The statement of complainant Ismail was also recorded in court on Thursday.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has announced a grand conclave in Lucknow on January 18. While VHP officials claim the programme is being held to mark the 50th anniversary of the organisation, workers of Sangh Parivar’s wings have been directed to clandestinely work to spread the message of homecoming among people who have changed their religion within last 50 years.
VHP secretary Purshottam Narain Singh told HT, “We will organise a grand celebration on January 18 and if anyone reads between the lines it’s their fault."
Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahali of Aishbagh eidgah accused the RSS of promoting conversions.“The Centre must clarify whether it has a communal agenda or a development agenda. I will personally meet chief minister Akhilesh Yadav to request him not to allow any programme of VHP on January 18 as it will put the Ganga Jamuna tehzeeb of the city in jeopardy,” he said.
Meanwhile, enraged members and officials of the Indian Union Muslim League held a protest condemning the Agra conversions.
“We have given a memorandum to the CM demanding action against the event organisers and to ban the organisations behind it,” said Mohd Ovais, the League’s state secretary.
The intelligence department is keeping a watchful an eye on these organisations in the face of growing unrest amongst minorities.