Parents of 24-yr-old among 11 booked under anti-conversion law
According to the FIR, the woman said her parents lied and took her to a church, and were forcing her to adopt Christianity.
The parents of a 24-year-old Hindu woman and nine others have been booked under the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Ordinance, 2020, for allegedly forcing her to convert to Christianity in a ceremony held in Indore on Tuesday night, the police said.
The FIR was registered on a complaint by the woman, Shalini Kaushal, at the Bhanwarkuan police station against her parents Rakesh Kaushal and Rani Kaushal under Section 3 and 5 of the MP Freedom of Religion Ordinance, said HN Mishra, deputy inspector general (DIG) of police, Indore. Nine others were named in the FIR.
Police have arrested the parents and seven others. The accused were produced before a court on Wednesday and were sent to judicial custody, said a police officer.
According to the FIR, “Shalini said that her parents Rakesh and Rani lied to her and took her to a church Satprakashan Sanchar Kendra, Indrapuri, Indore to attend a programme of Christian missionary. In the programme, the accused were saying that God will help you...Some women beat me up. They were forcing people to adopt Christianity. I am Hindu by religion but my parents and others were forcing me to convert. Like me, there were two more people, who were being forced for conversion.”
DIG HN Mishra said, “We are checking the background of accused and also the involvement of the centre’s office-bearers. We are also investigating to know whether it was a mass conversion programme or not as most of the participants were Hindu.”
The Centre’s director, Father Babu Joseph, said: “There is a convention centre in the Church premises, but I don’t know about any programme. People are free to organize any programme without taking any permission, but we don’t promote conversion. I will look into the matter.”
Bajrang Dal workers entered in the hall in large number and created a scene. Bajrang Dal, Indore leader Tannu Sharma said, “We came to know that more than 150 people from across the state had been brought to Indore for conversion. We reached there and stopped the accused from doing so. Many people told us that they were being forced to convert.”