BHOPAL: Three people were arrested in Satna district late on Saturday under state's anti-conversion law. The trio reportedly told police they work for Gospel Echoing Missionary Society (GEMS), an NGO which preaches Christianity and has a presence in northern states for more than four decades, police said.
Of three, one accused Stephan Rajkumar, 40, is a resident of Chennai, other accused Harilal, 20, is a resident of Rewa and the third, Anil Kumar is resident of Azamgarh, said Majhgawan police station in charge Khem Singh.
"The trio has been booked under sections 3 and 4 of Madhya Pradesh Dharm Swatantrya Adhiniyam, besides Section 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), Section 506 (criminal intimidation). They did not inform the collector before converting locals," he said.
"They converted two people by offering Rs 5,000. One of them complained to us. Subsequently, all three were arrested from a local school while they were holding preaching sessions on Saturday night. CDs, projectors and other material used to propagate Christianity were recovered."
"They converted more than 10 people in Satna district. We have recorded statements of the two, who were converted. We are tracking 10 others, who were allegedly converted. Their statements will also be recorded," Singh said.
Madhya Pradesh Dharma Swatantrya Adhiniyam, 1968, bans conversions by force, allurement or fraud and there is a provision of imprisonment up to three years and a fine of Rs 50,000 as per recent amendments in the Act.
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