Indian police monitor Christian activity after false allegations of forced conversions
Police in India’s Uttar Pradesh State have been ordered to monitor Christian prayer gatherings after five Christians were falsely accused of violating the state’s anti-conversion law by radical Hindu nationalists.
According to Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN), the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a hardline Hindu nationalist group, recently handed five Christians over to police in Shahjahanpur District for allegedly violating the state’s anti-conversion law.
“It is just an allegation from the fanatic groups,” Father Harold D’Cunha, Vicar General of the Bareilly Diocese, told UCAN. “If they are sure about it, let them prove it. Occasionally, these groups blame us for conversions, but until now there is no record of any religious conversion where the church is involved.”
UCAN reports that S. Anand, the Superintendent of Shahjahanpur Police, told the Press Trust of India that officers had been asked to keep a watch on Christian religious gatherings after the alleged religious conversion activities.
If the Christians are found guilty, they can be punished by a jail term of one to five years and a fine of 15,000 rupees (approximately $203.00).