Alleging religious conversion, Bajrang Dal members attack carol singers in MP

We wonder, what's more to follow

In yet another incident of violence against religious minorities in the country, members of Hindu right-wing group Bajrang Dal on Thursday attacked Christmas carol singers in Madhya Pradesh’s Satna region over allegations of religious conversion.

The agitated mob also set a priest’s car ablaze.

According to an IANS report, the cops detained the carol singers and priests following a police complaint lodged by the members of Bajrang Dal.

While speaking to the news agency, Father Rene Verghese explained:

A group of students training to become priests was moving around Satna town, visiting Christian institutions and singing carols. Some 15 km from here in Dara Kalan village church they were getting ready for the Christmas celebrations, when a group of people attacked them, accusing them of carrying out religious conversion.

Father Verghese further added that all 32 carollers, accompanied by two priests, were picked up and taken to the police station. Eight priests who later went to the police station to enquire about the matter were also taken into custody.

Father Verghese denied allegations of religious conversion saying singing carols is a common practice around the time of Christmas.

But police version of the incident is different.

City Superintendent of Police D.D. Pande told the news agency:

One Dharmendra Dohad has registered a complaint with us that he was paid Rs 5,000 and converted to a Christian. He was given a holy dip in a pond and his name was changed to Dharmendra Thomas, the complainant said. They also asked him to pray to Lord Christ.

Pande also said that a case has been registered against six persons in the case. However, only one has been identified so far. They are also investigating the vandalism carried out by the mob, he said.

This is not the first incident of religious conversion in MP.

Earlier in April, three Christians were arrested on charges of religious conversions in Khandwa district. A month later, 10 people were booked for trying to convert 71 tribal children to Christianity.

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