Alirajpur (Madhya Pradesh): In a case of alleged religious conversion, Madhya Pradesh Police on Wednesday booked a church priest for pressuring a tribal person to embrace Christianity luring him by offering free education and treatment.
Based on the complaint filed by the complainant, Alirajpur police booked one Vikalson Devarkiya, a resident of Alirajpur under Section 3 (the act says that no person shall directly or indirectly by using force, allurement or fraudulent means convert any other) and 5 (prohibition of conversion from one religion to another by the use of force or allurement or by fraudulent means) of the Madhya Pradesh Religious Freedom Act 2021.
As per the FIR copy available with the Free Press, complainant Jagesingh Dodwe, 31, a resident of Dawar Falia, Vagdi, Nanpur tehsil of Alirapur district in his complaint against priest Vikalson accused him of pressuring and luring to accept Christianity.
Jagesingh who belongs to the Bhilala community and is a farmer claimed that in the middle of October month, he felt severe stomach aches and illness. After visiting the nearby hospital, there was no respite from the stomach ache.
Later through some local villagers, he comes to know that a priest at the nearby Semalpati village church will cure his illness.
On October 23, he visited there and Vikalson Devarkiya, a priest at the church asked about my name and other details. Later he sprayed some water on me and assured me that my health problem will be resolved, complainant Jagesingh said.
Vikalson told Jagesingh to accept Christianity and started praying to God. He even asked him to pray in the church and clapped.
He asked Jagesingh to visit the church every Sunday and even the complainant visited the Church for the next two Sundays anticipating it will cure his health problem but to no avail.
Later, Jagesingh told Vikalson that there is no relief for him even visiting church every Sunday. On this, Vikalson starts pressuring him to accept Christianity and stop praying to Hindu Gods. He lured him by offering free treatment at the hospital and good education at the convent schools for his children.
Upset with Vikalson's behaviour, Jagesingh shared the entire incident with his friends Vijay and Samrath Pachaya, who subsequently decided to take police help in the matter.
They lodged a complaint against Vikalson and after a preliminary investigation, police booked him under relevant sections of the Madhya Pradesh Religious Freedom Act 2021.
Dilip Chauhan, state president of Hindu Yuva Janjati Sangathan, said that by taking advantage of tribal poor and backwards-class people in the district, religious conversions are being done by Christian society and missionary organizations. They are luring poor tribes offering them money, free treatment and education. Chauhan informed that this is the second such case reported in the district and earlier the case was registered in Udaigarh by the workers of Hindu Yuva Janjati Sangathan.
Roshan Pachaya, district president of Hindu Yuva Janjati Sangathan said that the organisation plays a crucial role in saving poor tribals from such people.
There will be a demand to take action against the other pastors and the organization which is the steering committee of the conversion, as well as to demolish the church for the above illegally constructed and hosting Changi meeting without the permission of the collector under the Religion Conversion Act.