Pune: 14 booked for forcing Hindus to convert to Christianity

On Monday, the Pimpri Chinchwad Police registered a complaint against 14 persons including a minor for attempting to forcefully convert a few Hindu people from the Khed region of Pune to Christianity. The accused also are charged with causing religious hatred and hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus.

According to the FIR copy attained by OpIndia, the complaint has been registered by a Hindu person named Prasad Salunkhe on January 15. The accused booked in the case have been identified as Pradip Waghmare, Prashant Waghmare of Charholi, Ronak Shinde, Ashok Pandhare, Tejas Chandne, Mukesh Vishwakarma, Lakshman Naidu, M B Yun, J Yun, and Ishal Salve. Three women and a 17-year-old boy have also been named in the FIR.

Salunkhe, a resident of the Markal region in Khed complained that he was being harassed by the accused persons who forced him and his family members to convert their religion to Christianity. “On January 15, two persons Pradip Waghmare and Prashant Waghmare came into our locality and asked me if I knew anything about Christianity. They also asked me to read Bible and convert my religion to Christianity for a better life.”

“Later, they saw photos of Hindu Gods and Goddesses in our home and began abusing them. The duo said that I should go to Church and worship Jesus. I told them that I am a Hindu and I read only Shiv Charitra Parayan. Then they said that reading Hindu scriptures were of no use and that worshipping Hindu Gods would never do any good to us,” Salunkhe complained.

Accused called Hindu Gods ‘beggars’

He further mentioned that the duo also abused the Hindu Gods and called them ‘beggars’. “They saw Vasudev avatar on the street in the morning and asked me who was he. I told them that he is our God and he was seeking ‘Bhiksha’ from the Hindu residents. On this, the duo said how will your God protect you when he is begging for food. I could not tolerate the insult and called two of my friends who informed me that many similar people were targeting Hindus and forcing them to convert their religion to Christianity. We later called the Police who verified the complaint and identified 14 accused persons who were luring Hindus for money and asking them to convert their religion to Christianity,” the complaint read.

A similar incident was reported from the Alandi region of Pune on January 1 where three Christian persons were caught red-handed while attempting to forcefully convert people from the Matang community to Christianity. The accused visited the Sathe Nagar area of Alandi and asked a few Hindu families if they read Bible. Later the accused persons began informing the Hindu persons about Christianity and forced them to convert their religion to Christianity.

Massive protests organized in Pune demanding anti-conversion law

After the incident massive protest was organized by the Hindu community in Pune on January 14. Around thousands of Hindus from nearby areas including Alandi, Nigdi, and Pimpri Chinchwad joined the protest against forceful conversion and demanded the implementation of anti-conversion laws across the state of Maharashtra.

However, Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar wrote a letter to the Maharashtra CM demanding protection for the Christian people. In a letter dated January 13, he said that the Christian people were unnecessarily being harassed and that the government needs to do justice to the community.

In the current case, Salunkhe stated that the 14 accused reportedly enticed individuals to attend church by paying them money to manage their businesses. The suspects have been charged under Sections 153 (a), 298, and 34 of the Indian Penal Code. According to the reports, the accused had come for ‘Dharmaprasar (religious propagation)’ in the Markal region of Khed district. No arrests have been made yet, but notices have been sent to the accused for inquiry.

Source: OpIndia

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