5 December 2022

Meerut: Four more people have been arrested for their alleged involvement in religious conversions here, taking the total number of arrests to eight, police said on Sunday Nine people, including three women, were booked on Friday for allegedly forcing around 100 people to convert to Christianity in the slum area of Mangatpuram under Brahmapuri police station in Meerut.

They have been booked under Section 3 . 5 ( 1 ) of the Uttar Pradesh Unlawful Conversion Prohibition Act following a complaint by residents of Mangatapuram Colony here. The nine accused have been identified as — Chhabiliaka Shiva, Binwa, Anil, Sardar, Nikku, Basant, Prema, Titali, and Reena, all believed to be local residents.

forcing 100 ' to convert in Meerut
forcing 100 ‘ to convert in Meerut

According to police Anil, Sardar, Nikku, Basant, Binwa, Prema, Titli, and Reena have been arrested and only Chhabili alias Shiva is on the run. Senior Superintendent of police, Rohit Singh Sajwan confirmed it.

Meerut city unit BJP president Deepak Sharma claimed that more than 100 people were forced to convert to Christianity. Sharma alleged that during Covid – 19 crisis, some people provided food grains, and money to the poor locals in the Mangatpuram colony and then forced them to convert to Christianity.

When visiting the locality on Saturday, many local residents refuted the charges. One of them, on condition of anonymity, said, ” Prayers used to take place in the makeshift church from time to time. Some slum dwellers used to willingly attend. No one was converted as such. “

Deepak Kumar and Rajvati, who live near the church, said, ” We still follow Hinduism and no one told us to convert. These allegations are being leveled, maybe, to force them ( the named accused ) to vacate the land on which they have been living for decades. They actually want to drive us all away.

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