A row erupted in Balrampur, Chhattisgarh, after members of a local Hindu organisation alleged that a few people were promoting illegal conversion through the means of inducement and showing Sanatan Dharma in a bad light on Monday, January 29.
According to the reports, members of the Vishwa Hindu Mahasangh have alleged that a local couple and a few of their associates for allegedly promoting conversion in Ward No. 3 of Balrampur town.
The incident came to light when one of the residents of Ward No. 3 visited a gathering called in the house of one of his neighbours on Monday, January 29, where people from the neighbouring state of Jharkhand were also invited.
It’s been alleged that the said people who have arrived from Jharkhand started showing Sanatan Dharma in bad light as soon as the programme commenced; they further propagated the miracles of praying in Changai Sabha, a religious gathering of the Christian community prevalent mostly in northern regions of Bharat.
According to the reports, the speakers were also allegedly luring the people with money to embrace Christianity and promote conversion. Its been learned that upon receiving the information about the above-mentioned gathering, members of the Vishva Hindu Mahasangh soon gathered at the spot and halted the programme.
Later on, a police team also reached the spot and detained as many as five people, including the owner of the house where the programme was organised. The police have also received a written complaint from the members of the Vishva Hindu Mahasangh.
Sharing the details of the case, Additional Superintendent of Police, Balrampur, Chandresh Singh Thakur, informed us that a programme was organised at the house of Suresh Minj, a resident of Ward No 3, where a few people from outside were also in attendance, a complaint about the said gathering has been received, we have detained five people in the case and the matter is being investigated.
It is to be noted that cases pertaining to illegal conversion have been coming to the fore from separate regions of Chhattisgarh at regular intervals, often triggering sharp reactions from the local Hindu community. The regular emergence of such cases has also contributed to the growing demand of stringent provisions against promotion of illegal conversion in the State.
Recently, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has also dropped hints that the incumbent Vishnu Deo Sai led Chhattisgarh government is preparing to stringent the provisions of the already existing anti-conversion law. According to the information available, the government may increase the quorum of punishment for illegal conversion to 10 years.
The development occurred after the State’s Chief Minister, Vishnu Deo Sai, on a number of occasions recently that the state has been a victim of illegal conversion for a long time and that his government is committed to permanently settling the issue.
Earlier, the CM, while addressing a public meeting, also remarked that the missionaries are a dominant force in the State and rampant conversion took place in the name of providing facilities like education and healthcare, the two sectors dominated by the missionaries in the State.
It is to be noted that the ruling BJP has been advocating for a stringent anti-conversion law in the State for a long and many of its leaders have vowed to enact the same if voted to power in the run-up to the State assembly election concluded last year, resulting in a thumping victory to the Narendra Modi-led party.