Sri Rama Sene activists barge into prayer hall alleging conversions

Members of the group claimed they came to the hall based on information about religious conversations.
Belagavi Police Commissioner K Thiyagarajan said an FIR has been registered against the pastor who was conducting the prayers after a complaint was filed against him alleging forced religious conversion. (PTI)
Belagavi Police Commissioner K Thiyagarajan said an FIR has been registered against the pastor who was conducting the prayers after a complaint was filed against him alleging forced religious conversion. (PTI)
Published on Nov 09, 2021 12:48 AM IST
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By, Bengaluru

Members of Sri Rama Sene, a right wing group, on Sunday barged into a community hall alleging that more than 200 people from villages have been lodged there for religious conversion.

Members of the group claimed they came to the hall based on information about religious conversions.

Police said people gathered at the centre had come for the Sunday prayer and the Sunday prayer has been happening at the hall for several months.

Many people who had gathered for the prayer fled from the location before arrival of Sri Rama Sene workers. Protesters allegedly locked the remaining people in a room and they were allowed to leave only after police arrived at the spot. Police protection was provided to the prayer hall following the incident.

However, hours after giving protection to the prayer hall, police filed an FIR against the pastor of the prayer hall. Belagavi Police Commissioner K Thiyagarajan said an FIR has been registered against the pastor who was conducting the prayers after a complaint was filed against him alleging forced religious conversion. He said police will probe the allegation.

The officer didn’t comment on the action taken against right-wing activists.

In a similar incident, a group of right-wing activists on September 9 barged into a Christian prayer hall in Karkala in Udupi district, while a prayer meeting was underway. The officials of the prayer hall, in their complaint, have accused the members of the Hindu Jagarana Vedike (HJV) for the attack. In a counter-complaint, the HJV alleged that the prayer hall was promoting religious conversions.

In October, barely a month since the Basavaraj Bommai-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government mooted the possibility of bringing in legislation to check forced religious conversions, the legislative committee on backward classes and minorities welfare has ordered a survey of authorised and unauthorised Churches and their personnel in the state.

The committee has ordered a survey on all churches, priests and registering cases against any instances of forcible religious conversions. However, following protests, the legislative committee on backward classes and minorities’ welfare had decided not to go ahead with the survey.

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Monday, January 17, 2022