India: Accused of forced conversion, Christian man tonsured, paraded on a donkey

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Christian man tonsured, paraded on a donkey

According to reports, a Christian man named Awdhesh Kumar has been accused of forcefully converting three Hindu men to Christianity and under the allegation, paraded half head shaven on a donkey in Orai village, Jalaun District, Jhansi division of Uttar Pradesh State, India

Activists of a Hindu extremist outfit, Bajrang Dal caught a Christian man accusing him of converting Sangam Jatav and two others to Christianity without their consent and shaved half of his head, garlanded him with shoes and paraded him on a donkey.

The activists did not allow Awdhesh to be taken to the police station following which, the police and PAC personnel reached the spot and took the victim to Orai Kotwali police station. The Bajrang Dal activists also allegedly claimed that the victim forced Hindus to consume beef against their will. They also alleged that pictures of Hindu gods and goddesses were thrown on the floor and the converted Hindus were made to walk on them, reports said.

According to police, the victim, identified as Awdhesh, is a resident of Randar in Jalaun district.

Sangam Jatav, one of the three men, alleged that Awdhesh took him to Mirzapur to get him a good job and had forcefully converted him to Christianity without him knowing.

Bajrang Dal activists, who tonsured Awdhesh, also tried to take the accused to the SP’s office but had to release him after police intervened.

Police said investigation was on and Jatav was being interrogated.

After the BJP swept to power at the Centre in 2014, right-wing groups including the Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) have launched a campaign against large scale religious conversions of Hindus allegedly by Christian and Muslims.

The outfits had even launched a programme called ‘ghar wapsi’ to re-convert those people to Hinduism, triggering a debate on the sensitive issue.