Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christian event in Ratlam stopped on alleged charges of “conversion”

A Pentecostal convention in Ratlam came to an abrupt end Friday after a group of right-wing activists brought the administration and police to the venue after accusing the organisers of converting tribals by offering money and other allurements.

Hindu Jagran Manch (HJM) activists alleged that illiterate tribals from Bajna and Sailana were brought to a venue on Power House Road in Ratlam town with a promise to cure their ailments and promised jobs and money.

Called Changai Sabha’, the meet was organised by the local body and addressed by preachers from Kerala and Bhopal. The HJM said the organisers had arranged for food and accommodation of the tribals and told the potential converts that only Christianity can ensure salvation, not their old religion.

CSP P S Ranawat told The Indian Express that no evidence about the alleged conversions, forced or otherwise, was found in the initial probe by the police. He said the police had spoken to a few tribals but none confirmed the allegation. He said the police could not take statements of the organisers because there was tension in the air.

After the police assured them of action, the Manch said its activists would wait till Saturday for a case to be registered against the organisers or decide the next course of action after the deadline was over.

Ranawat said between 100 and 150 tribals participated in the convention addressed by five preachers. When told about the deadline given by the HJM, the CSP chose not to speak about it.

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