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Just a few weeks earlier than authorities’s FCRA transfer, Missionaries of Charity nun booked for ‘pressured conversion’

About two weeks earlier than the Union Home Ministry Refusal to resume FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) Status of the Kolkata-based Missionaries of Charity, arrange by Mother Teresa, Vadodara metropolis police have been booked beneath the Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act for allegedly “hurting Hindu religious sentiments” and “hurting Hindu religious sentiments”. A case was registered in opposition to the NGO beneath Young women of Christian religion within the shelter dwelling run by the group.

Vadodara Court on Friday postponed for the third time The anticipatory bail plea filed by two nuns of Home for Girls, the court docket directed town police to ‘make clear’ the usage of sections 3 and 4 of the Act, the applying of which was stayed by the Gujarat High Court in August.

Section 3 of the Act prohibits conversion “by the use of force or by inducement or by any fraudulent means or by marriage or by the marriage of any person or by aiding the marriage of any person”, whereas Section 4 lays down the penal provisions. Is.

Missionaries of Charity Nuns outdoors Mother House in Kolkata.

District Public Prosecutor (DGP) Anil Desai, showing for Vadodara metropolis police within the case, knowledgeable Additional Sessions Judge RT Panchal that data is awaited from the workplace of the general public prosecutor within the excessive court docket.

Police opposed the anticipatory bail plea by the nun, alleging {that a} lady was “forcefully converted” on the establishment, that the ladies on the shelter have been being served “non-vegetarian food” and requested them to learn books on Christianity was going. Desai.

Vadodara Police FIRThe criticism, filed on December 12, is predicated on a criticism by district social safety officer Mayank Trivedi, who in December together with the chairman of the district youngster welfare committee had visited a house for ladies run by the Missionaries of Charity in Makarpura space of ​​town. 9.

According to the criticism, Trivedi discovered that women inside the home have been being accused of “forcing” them to learn Christian spiritual texts and take part in Christian prayers, with the intention of “converting them to Christianity”. .

A launch from Vadodara metropolis police on December 13 stated, “Between February 10, 2021 and December 9, 2021, the establishment deliberately and with animosity (in the direction of Hinduism) indulged in actions to harm spiritual sentiments of Hindus. has been Inside the home for ladies, women are being lured to transform to Christianity by carrying crosses round their necks and on the identical time forcing them to learn the Bible by putting the Bible on the storeroom desk utilized by the ladies… This is an try and commit a criminal offense on women to drive them to transform. ,

Vadodara Police can also be probing a selected case of a Hindu lady from Punjab who was allegedly married right into a Christian household by the group after she was pressured to transform to Christianity.

Meanwhile, the lady named within the police FIR as a ‘sufferer’ of pressured conversion has filed an affidavit stating that she was “not forcibly converted” and that the police case “damaged her image in the society”. is” because his inter-religious marriage took place “along with his will and consent”.

DGP Desai advised this newspaper, “The woman has filed her affidavit before the court and the police has denied the matter but the investigation is on… – Vegetarian food to the girls living in the shelter. The police have also told the court That the organization has forced the girls to read books of Christianity and books of any other religion are not found in the organization. The girls living in the shelter are being forced to wear a holy cross pendant – a symbol of Christianity – To attract them to religion, this is also a ground to oppose the bail plea.”

Vadodara Police Commissioner Shamsher Singh advised The Indian Express, “The lady who transformed for marriage has not but recorded her assertion with the police. Police is attempting to determine contact with him. The investigation of the opposite is on. We have handed over the matter to the crime department.”

Advocate Jahangir Shaikh, MoC’s counsel in Vadodara, advised The Indian Express, “Our first argument earlier than the court docket has been that the Vadodara police mustn’t have registered a case beneath sections of the amended Act, which was stayed by the HC in August. was given. , Secondly, they’ve named this Punjabi woman because the sufferer within the case. The reality is that in her affidavit she has advised the court docket that she has by no means transformed and practices Sikhism… Hence, the query of pressured conversion for marriage doesn’t come up. Also, the wedding happened in 2012 and it has been introduced up on this case in 2021, which in itself is uncertain because the woman has not voluntarily complained to anybody.”

Apart from sections of the Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act, the establishment has been booked beneath sections 295(a) and 298 of the IPC, which relate to insulting spiritual perception.

The Gujarat authorities, in June final 12 months, invoked the amended 2003 Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act, which, amongst others, provides pressured conversions to Section 3, which offers for ‘prohibition of pressured conversions’. Section 4 of the Act offers for imprisonment of three years and a superb of Rs 50,000 for pressured conversion; Imprisonment of as much as 4 years and a superb of as much as one lakh rupees for a minor being a ‘sufferer of pressured conversion’.

On August 20 this 12 months, a division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Biren Vaishnav, whereas listening to two petitions opposing the Act, had stayed the operation of sure sections of the Act, together with 3 and 4 and noticed, “Prima facie Inter-religious marriages between two consenting adults by operation of the provisions of Section 3 of the 2003 Act intrude with the intricacies of marriage together with the fitting of an individual to decide on, thereby violating Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

DGP Desai stated, “During the anticipatory bail listening to by the court docket, we have been requested to debate with the Advocate General the scope of the keep order issued by the Gujarat High Court with respect to Sections 3 and 4 of the Freedom of Religion in Gujarat. Work. The High Court has issued a keep order for the desired sections with respect to pressured conversion by inter-religious marriage… The remainder of the grounds of forceful conversion prescribed within the part are usually not barred and therefore the police case is on sound grounds. We will talk about the applicability of the part with the Government’s counsel within the HC on this matter and file our reply earlier than the court docket on receipt of knowledge.

With inputs from TheIndianEXPRESS


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