Furor over 'conversion' of Muslims in India

Opposition MPs attack ruling party over mass conversion of about 200 Muslims to Hinduism by far right Hindu groups.

    Furor over 'conversion' of Muslims in India
    An investigation is under way into the alleged arson attack on a church in New Delhi earlier this month [EPA]

    India's opposition politicians have protested inside parliament against the alleged mass conversion of about 200 Muslims to Hinduism in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

    Opposition MPs on Tuesday attacked the conservative Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party over the conversions in Agra city, reportedly under allurement by groups linked to the ruling party's ideological parent, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

    "This is a serious matter as allurement was given to poor [people] to get them converted," Dalit leader Mayawati was quoted as saying by Times of India website.

    The opposition has asked the government to ensure the religious freedom of minorities as enshrined in the country’s constitution.

    "The House and the country need reassurance that the Constitution will not be violated," Congress leader Anand Sharma was quoted as saying by the NDTV channel.

    A day after much publicised mass conversion, Muslim families have told local media that they were tricked into conversion and did not speak against the act "out of fear of violence".

    NDTV reported that a police complaint has been filed after a villager alleged that Muslims from a slum in Agra, the city that houses the famous Taj Mahal, were allured to convert.

    "We were told we will get a ration card, Aadhar [ID] card, and that the police will not bother us. We are poor so what do we do?" NDTV quoted one of the converts as saying.

    The latest controversy comes as members of minority communities have come under attack from far right groups. Last week, a federal minister was forced to apologise for alleged hate speech.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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