A Christian couple was taken into custody under the state’s anti-conversion law from Bitnera village, about 30 kms from district headquarters Khargone, after a Hindu woman alleged that she had been offered Rs 5,000 every month if she converted to Christianity.
The police said Wilson and Rashmita, who belong to Chennai but have been living in Khargone for last few years, had come to the village to take part in a feast organized by Rekhabai and her husband Badri after he was cured of a chronic illness.
The local family had reportedly planned a sacrifice of a goat on the occasion. A few more local members had reportedly started practicing Christianity after being treated of their illnesses.
There was more than one version of the complaint by Kamlabai, a woman who alleged that she was promised money for changing her faith. One version said she was opposed to the animal sacrifice.
The Christian couple was allowed to go home late on Wednesday but had been given a notice. Khargone SP Amit Singh told The Indian Express that the couple has been booked under the anti-conversion act but not arrested immediately because the offence was punishable with less than seven-year jail term. He said the couple’s claim that it was there for Christmas celebration was questionable because the village does not have a Church or any other Christian institute.
The couple, however, claimed that they had come to the village only to attend the feast and made no attempt to convert anyone.
The in-charge of Goganva Police Station, where the offence was registered, said the police have not been able to confirm the address in Khargone where the couple claimed to have rented a place.
“No one would come all the way from Chennai only to eat goat meat,’’ he said and added that there was no proof of the couple’s involvement in previous conversions in Goganva Police Station area.
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