Police close probe into forced conversion, say allegations false
NEW DELHI: Police on Monday called the allegations of
“forced conversions” in a Greater Noida village false and closed investigation
into the matter, with SP (Rural) Brijesh Kumar Singh stating that the complaint
had been made by local BJP leaders in Kulesra village.
Meanwhile, the Dalit Valmikis who were allegedly being
forced to convert to Christianity have denied the charges, police said.
Police said after the complaint was made, a team was
sent to the village to investigate the matter. Police said they found that the
allegations were baseless and that people were praying with the Christian
pastors on their own volition.
Meanwhile, the pastors — who had been detained
following the allegation — said they would be meeting with members of the
Greater Noida parish to decide their next step.
“There is simply no case in the matter. If people wish
to pray to a god, we can’t stop them. Freedom of religion in India is a
Fundamental Right guaranteed by the Constitution. Police have no role here as
long as it’s being done peacefully and without harming others,” Singh said.
Police said despite the fact that no FIR had been
filed, they conducted an investigation to verify the allegations as the matter
“This is an area where communal tensions have been
high, particularly with regard to forced conversions. But our investigation
found no such thing. The pastors had come to the village to pray with the
people for their good,” Singh said.
He said those who were allegedly being forced to
convert to Christianity, had denied the charges. “In our interviews with Dalit
Valmikis who were allegedly being forcibly converted, they spoke of no such
thing. They were only praying,” he said.
Meanwhile, Reverend Wilson Joseph, president of the
Calvary Ashram Seva Sangh in Greater Noida, said they had not yet filed a
police complaint in the matter.
“BJP workers instigated people. The pastors who were
detained have been praying in the village for seven or eight years and have
never faced such accusations,” he said.