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Identifying missionaries who carry out illegal religious conversions: VHP

Congratulating the Madhya Pradesh government over the recently passed Freedom to Religion Bill, 2021, Parande said the VHP is also talking to other governments and its representatives to get similar laws passed.

TO CURB religious conversion in Madhya Pradesh, workers of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) have set out to identify missionaries allegedly carrying out illegal conversions in the state. In the first such attempt, the outfit has prepared a list of 56 missionaries allegedly indulging in illegal religious conversions in the Malwa region and submitted it to the district authorities, VHP national general secretary Miling Parande said on Thursday.

Addressing a press conference here, Parande said that after the completion of the VHP’s donation drive for construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on February 27, the outfit has decided to broaden its work towards issues involving the Hindu community, such as missionaries carrying out illegal religious conversion Bangladeshi infiltration and cases of alleged “love jihad” among others.

Congratulating the Madhya Pradesh government over the recently passed Freedom to Religion Bill, 2021, Parande said the VHP is also talking to other governments and its representatives to get similar laws passed. “Such laws for the benefit of Hindus are very important and we will try to bring them into effect, law against love jihad is also a part of a larger design,” he said.

The VHP leader, who recently visited the Malwa region, which includes the districts of Jhabua, Alirajpur, Dhar, Indore, Ujjain, Mandsaur among others, spoke of a major conspiracy to carry out illegal conversion, which needs to be stopped immediately. The VHP, he said, has constituted a special wing, Dharma Prasar Vibhag, to stop such illegal conversion. “Religious conversion is a type of violence that needs to be stopped,” Parande said, adding that VHP workers across the state are working to stop such conversion but within the frame of law.

When contacted, Surbhi Gupta, Collector of Alirajpur, where one case against religious conversion has been recorded, told The Indian Express, “A letter was received from the VHP talking about the practice of conversion being prevalent but it did not name any specific person who was accused of carrying out such conversion.” Indore Collector Ashish Singh and Dhar Collector Alok Kumar Singh said no such list has been received from the VHP so far.

A senior state government official said even if such a list has been received, there is little that the administration can do because as per the new anti-conversion law, the right to directly get an FIR registered has been restricted to the blood relatives of the victims apart from the victims themselves and their guardians. Anybody else, including social organisations, will first have to get permission from the local court in case they want to complain directly.

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