Uttarakhand police files cross FIRs after VHP workers allege conversion by church authorities

The church authorities including, a Pastor from the Union Church in Mussoorie who was visiting Purola for pre-Christmas celebrations, were also booked under 3/5 of the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act, 2018.

The church authorities including, a Pastor from the Union Church in Mussoorie who was visiting Purola for pre-Christmas celebrations, were also booked under 3/5 of the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act, 2018.
| Photo Credit: PTI

Uttarkashi police booked authorities of a church and activist of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in cross FIRs after the latter alleged “conversion” during Christmas celebrations. The church authorities alleged that VHP activists thrashed and disturbed their prayers which had nothing to do with conversion.

K.S. Rawat, station in-charge, Purola police station told The Hindu that a group of men lead by VHP activist Vijendra Singh Rawat approached police alleging that some missionaries are trying to convert a group of villagers in Chhiwala village.

“Before we could figure out the reality behind the complaint, the members of the church too approached the police to lodge an FIR against VHP for thrashing and disturbing their prayers,” said Mr. Rawat.

With protest from both the church authorities and VHP, the police booked unidentified persons for rioting, criminal intimidation and mischief causing damage.

Another FIR was lodged against the church authorities under Sections of the IPC for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, voluntarily causing hurt etc. The church authorities including, a Pastor from the Union Church in Mussoorie who was visiting Purola for pre-Christmas celebrations, were also booked under 3/5 of the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act, 2018.

Enraged with no arrest made by the police in “conversion” allegations, the businessmen community staged a massive protest in Purola leading to roadblocks. They alleged that the police is trying to hush-up the matter and demanded an immediate arrest of the accused.

Additional Director General of Police (ADG) Law and Order, V. Murugesan said that police are investigating the conversion angle as well the thrashing complaint.

“Law and order is under control in the area,” he added.

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