Members of several right-wing organizations tried to enter a church in Rohtak of Haryana today, and were eventually stopped by police. The crowd alleges that the church is carrying out a conversion. The BJP-ruled state is planning an anti-conversion law in Uttar Pradesh.
Police said they received no complaints about the conversion and that crowds were brought under control following several riots.
“People come here for devotion, just like any other place of worship… We never force anyone to come here,” the Church’s Associate Pastor told reporters.
He said the police visited them last night and informed them of a possible protest and checked the situation.
Captain Manoj Kumar, Deputy Political Commissar of Rohtak told reporters: “We have received complaints that something like this may be happening”, but no complaints about the conversion.
Police have also conducted their investigation and “found nothing like it (religious conversions)”, he said. For about six years, people held prayer meetings at church on Sundays and Thursdays.
After receiving the complaint, the police were deployed at the church.
“There was a gathering without permission. So it was dispersed,” Mr. Kumar said, referring to the crowd. The situation is now normal, he added.
According to the Uttar Pradesh Illegal Conversion of Religion Ordinance, in 2020, illegal religious conversions are prohibited and marriages are annulled if they are performed for the sole purpose of religious conversion.
The law provides for a prison term of up to 10 years and a maximum fine of Rs 50,000 in various forms.