Aligarh: The Uttar Pradesh government has refused to give permission to the RSS-backed Dharma Jagran Manch's controversial mass conversion programme – an issue which rocked the Parliament throughout the past week - scheduled to be held on December 25 and clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC in the city, reports said on Monday.
A senior UP police official was quoted as saying that the proposed mass conversion programme will not be allowed under "any circumstances". "Under no circumstances will we allow the proposed mass conversation programme slated for December 25,"Amit Agarwal, DIG of Aligarh Zone was quoted bas saying.
He further said, "The so-called 'Ghar Waapsi' programme organised by the Dharam Jagran Samiti can become a law and order issue for the state and irrespective of the finer details of this event it cannot be allowed to be held."
Agarwal further informed that prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC have been clamped in the city. Taking note of the outfit's plan to "convert a large number of people" on December 25, the district authorities had last week issued a warning to those trying to disturb communal amity and asked citizens not to get provoked.
"Religious conversion is a matter of personal choice and the law permits it. However, if certain groups deliberately try to provoke communal sentiments by misusing this provision, then we will certainly not allow this to take place," District Magistrate Abhishek Prakash had said on Friday.
Leaders of the Aligarh-based outfit have announced that they will conduct a mass conversion ceremony at a local college here on December 25. Amid row over alleged forced reconversion in Agra, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had last week said his government had ordered strict action against those responsible for the act.
"I have ordered strict action on the issue as it came to light. The local administration is also identifying those involved in the act and taking action against them," Yadav had said. The AAP led by Arvind Kejriwal has also severely condemned the “Ghar Wapsi” programme and said it must not be allowed.
Country has voted Modi for development not for communal polarisation !!! Ghar Vapsi should stop !!!
— ashutosh (@ashutosh83B) December 15, 2014
Notwithstanding the warning by the district administration, the Dharam Jagaran Samiti -- a western UP-based Hindutva group, has said it will go ahead with its reconversion programme on December 25.
"This is not conversion programme but a ceremony to welcome those who had left the Hindu fold in the past and are ready to return because of dissatisfaction which they experienced after conversion.
"We are ready to fight a legal battle if the district administration tries to prevent our ceremony," Organisation Secretary of the Samiti, Vidyaram Pandey said here.
Meanwhile, BJP has now adopted a cautious approach on this impending face off between the district authorities and the other saffron organisations.
"We are not organising this ceremony but if the organisers including the Bajrang Dal seek our help on this score, we will certainly do whatever we can to help them," BJP's district president Devraj Singh told reporters.
On the other hand, organisations of minority community and leaders have voiced their concern over the possibility of communal strife as a fall out of the proposed Christmas Day reconversion ceremony.
The AMU Students' Union, in a letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, pointed out that forced conversions by some Hindu organisations in Uttar Pradesh under the garb of "homecoming ceremony" were a dangerous signal for the entire country.
"This matter has nothing to do with Hinduism, as Hinduism never preaches religious exploitation. This is entirely the work of some extremist Hindu organisations who are indulging in such activities not because of an interest in their religion but for purely polarising society for political gains," the letter said.
Continuing its probe into the forced mass conversion of about 100 people mostly Muslim slum dwellers in Agra to Hinduism, the local authorities have announced a cash reward for the arrest of Kishori Lal Balmiki, a key accused in the case.
"The Agra police has declared a cash reward of Rs 5000 on the arrest of the main accused Kishori Lal Balmiki in the alleged forced reconversions there", Inspector General (IG) Law and order, A Satish Ganesh, said here.
A local court has also issued non-bailable warrants against Balmiki and his mobile phone has also been put on surveillance", the IG said.