'Majority Population Would Be Minority If...': High Court Flags Conversions

Jul 2, 2024 - 20:48
Jul 2, 2024 - 20:48
'Majority Population Would Be Minority If...': High Court Flags Conversions

Religious congregations where conversions are taking place must be stopped, the Allahabad High Court has said, adding that the country's "majority population would be in minority" if such gatherings are allowed.

The high court was hearing yesterday the bail petition of Kailash, who has been accused of taking people from Hamirpur in Uttar Pradesh to a gathering in Delhi for conversions.

The court's order says that according to the FIR, Kailash took Ramkali Prajapati's brother Ramphal to Delhi and he never returned home.

Ramphal, the FIR has said, had been suffering from mental illness and Kailash said that he will be treated at the gathering in Delhi and will be home in a week. When Ramphal did not return, she asked Kailash but did not get a satisfactory reply.

The FIR says that many people from the Hamirpur village were taken to the Delhi gathering and converted to Christianity. Kailash was arrested under charges of kidnapping and provisions of UP Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act, 2021.

The Uttar Pradesh government's counsel, Additional Advocate General PK Giri, told the court that at such gatherings, a huge number of people are being converted to Christianity. He also pointed to statements of witnesses who have said Kailash had been taking people from the village for conversion and was getting paid in return.

Kailash's counsel Saket Jaiswal said Ramphal was not converted to Christianity and had only attended a Christian gathering. "It was Sonu Paster who was holding such gathering, and he has already been enlarged on bail," he argued.

Justice Rohit Ranjan Agarwal said in his order that Article 25 of the Constitution provides for freedom of conscience and free profession, practice, and propagation of religion, but does not provide for conversion from one faith to another faith.

"The word 'Propagation' means to promote, but it does not mean to convert any person from his religion to another religion," the order says.

The court noted that Ramphal never returned to the village and that several witnesses have accused Kailash of taking away people for conversion.

"If this process is allowed to be carried out, the majority population of this country would be in minority one day, and such religious congregation should be immediately stopped where the conversion is taking place and changing religion of citizen of India," the court said, while denying bail to Kailash.

"It has come into notice of this Court in several cases that unlawful activity of conversion of people of SC/ST castes and other castes including economically poor persons into Christianity is being done at rampant pace throughout the State of Uttar Pradesh," it added.