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DM issues warning ahead of scheduled conversions

“Religious conversion is a matter of personal choice and the law permits it. However, if certain groups deliberately try to provoke communal sentiments by misusing this provision, then we will certainly not allow this to take place,” District Magistrate Abhishek Prakash said. The leaders of Aligarh-based Hindu Jagaran Samiti had announced a mass conversion ceremony of Christians and Muslims, described by them as “homecoming”, at a local college here on December 25. 

Following this, a delegation of Christian leaders met the DM on Friday to express their concerns on the statements and were given an assurance by him that he would look into the matter. Christian community led by Rev Jonathan Lal of the Methodist Church had sought police protection for their church buildings on Christmas. “We are satisfied by the assurances received by the District Magistrate on Friday,” Lal later told media persons.

Prakash issued an appeal saying, “We are a peace loving people and the festival of Christmas is very sacred to us. We appeal to all sections to join hands with us in celebrating this festival of peace and love and refrain from indulging in any act which causes friction between different sections.

“Religious belief is a very personal matter and there should be no question of any coercion or inducement for religious conversions,” he said. Prominent Muslim leaders and organisations have also appealed to all sections “not to be provoked or disturbed by any statements by any organisation”. Samajwadi Party MLA from here, Zafar Alam, on Friday said that there was no problem whatsoever if any individual wants to convert, adding, there is clearly an attempt to spread “ill-will” in the state when a particular group announces a mass conversion of two  communities.


Shah favours law to stop forcible conversions

BJP chief Amit Shah on Friday favoured a strong law to stop forcible conversions. But he lamented that the so-called secular parties will not come forward to support such a measure in Parliament due to their vote bank politics. “There should be no forcible conversions and a good law should be brought in Parliament against it. I appeal to all other parties to support such a law. But I guarantee that except for BJP, no other party will favour this law due to their vote bank politics,” Shah said at a summit in New Delhi.
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