As per a report published in Times of India, Mathura police have arrested seven Christian preachers on Monday night for allegedly carrying out a “forcible conversion campaign” in a village in the district. The arrested preachers were produced in court on Tuesday and remanded in judicial custody for 14 days.
According to some villagers, the missionaries have been active in the area, Irauli Gurjar, for the past one month and have been distributing Bible to residents. One of them alleged that since no one was paying heed to their pleas, on Monday night they turned aggressive and tried to “forcibly convert” some schedule caste families. Around 700 people from SC groups reside in the village.
“Police received a complaint from a villager after which seven people were arrested. They have been booked under IPC Section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings),” said SP (rursal) Aditya Shukla.
According to officials, a woman named Mamta, who recently moved to the village after getting married to a local resident named Pradeep Singh, called the missionaries to her house for prayers on Monday. Mamta’s sister, Anita, who lives in Hathras, had recently converted to Christianity.
“Mamta’s family members alleged that while propagating their faith, the preachers began insulting other deities. Objecting to their comments, the family members approached local residents, who in turn informed police about the incident. Later, Pradeep’s uncle Lal Singh filed a formal complaint against seven people after which the arrests were made,” said an official.
BN Singh, in-charge of Surir police station, where the case was registered, said, “The accused have been identified as Stanlee Jacob from Tamil Nadu, David from New Delhi, Vijay Kumar from Odisha, Amit from Mathura, Sumit Varghese and Anita from Hathras, and Dinesh from Rajasthan. Jacob claimed the missionaries had not forced anyone to convert. He said that the Bible was distributed to those who had asked for it.