Seven in jail in UP’s Mau for ‘involvement in religious conversion’ on basis of Hindutva group’s complaint
While 40 people were initially detained, seven were booked under the Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance, 2020 on the basis of a police complaint made by Hindu Jagran Manch
Several people were arrested in Uttar Pradesh’s Mau district after a rightwing Hindutva group complained to the police that they were involved in converting people to Christianity earlier this week.
While 40 people were initially detained, seven were booked under the Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance, 2020. Three women who were with them were released on bail, but four men are still lodged in the district jail.
Members of Hindu Jagran Manch and its Mau district in-charge Bhanu Pratap Singh had complained to the police that a pastor had organised a prayer meet at a man’s house in Sahadatpura Colony. Police sources said that Pastor Abraham was organising a prayer assembly in Vijendra Rajbhar's house in Sahadatpura area for the past five years.
The police alleged that the neighbours had informed police that people at Rajbhar's house were involved in religious conversions after luring people in the name of prayers that they said would cure diseases.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Dhananjay Mishra reportedly said a few people have been questioned and investigations were underway.
"These accusations and such episodes are part of a plan to oppress Christians in Uttar Pradesh," said Patsy David, representative of Alliance Defending Freedom.
Earlier this month, a mob of over 200 people attacked a group of people praying in a church in Uttarakhand’s Roorkee. Instead of apprehending the perpetrators, Uttarakhand Police registered a case against those who were attacked.
According to Alliance Defending Freedom, 374 cases of violence against Christians have been documented in Uttar Pradesh since 2017. Attacks have been on the rise since the Uttar Pradesh government passed the "Anti-conversion Law" in September 2020.
In most cases, extremist groups attack Christian halls or homes and disrupt their meetings, damage their property, furnishings, bibles and publications, and harassed by the police.