Catholic Priest, 2 others held under anti-conversion law in Madhya Pradesh

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh, India), December 29 (KMS): The police in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh have claimed to have arrested three persons, including a Catholic Church priest and a Pastor allegedly for luring tribals to convert to Christianity.

The police claimed that the arrested persons were allegedly involved in luring the tribals in a village in Jhabua district, one of the key tribal populated areas in the state, for conversion.

The police said the action came on the basis of an FIR registered at a local police station in Jhabua district, which claimed that Father Jam Singh Dindore, Pastor Ansingh Ninama and a person named Mangu Mehtab Bhuriya lured tribal villagers to convert to Christianity by promising them free education and treatment in the missionary-run school and hospitals. All three have been charged under the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 2021, which is known as the anti-conversion law, police said.

The police said the person who filed the complaint was identified as Tetiya Bariya, a tribal. The complainant has mentioned that “On December 26, Father Jam Singh Dindore called me and Surti Bai (another villager) to his prayer room and made us sit in a weekly meeting called for conversion. They sprinkled water on us and read the Bible.”

The complainant further added that he was asked to convert to Christianity with an offer of free health and education for his children, which he declined and informed the police.

Acting on the complaint, a case was registered and a team of local police reached Father Dindore’s residence on Sunday afternoon and detained him. Later, the police arrested two more persons involved in the matter.

However, Christian Missionaries in Jhabua district have alleged that a smear campaign was being run in the tribal-dominated areas of Madhya Pradesh against them.

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