Police have arrested a couple in Barwani district of Madhya Pradesh for allegedly trying to lure tribal women to convert to Christianity, an official said on Saturday.
The accused, identified as Anar Singh Jamre (35) and his wife Laxmi Jamre (32), residents of Nawalpura village, were booked and arrested on Friday under the provisions of Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, Rajpur police station in-charge Rajesh Yadav said.
The action was taken based on a complaint filed by Prakash Chouhan, a resident of Madil village, he said.
As per the complaint, the couple had been luring the tribal women for conversion to Christianity by offering money, free education, free medicines, employment and other facilities after inviting them to their residence, Yadav said.
Police have also seized some related literature, pen drives and other material from the couple’s house, he said, adding that they were released after a local court granted bail to them.
The amended Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act penalises religious conversions through fraudulent means including those for the sake of marriage. In cases involving religious conversion of members of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and minors, a provision has been made for imprisonment of two to 10 years and Rs 50,000 fine. Last month, police had arrested 11 persons, including seven from Rajasthan and Gujarat, in two cases of religious conversion in Khargone and Jhabua districts. They had also booked a pastor from Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh) in the conversion case of Khargone district, officials said. On December 6, the activists of right-wing groups had allegedly vandalised and created a ruckus at a missionary school in Ganjbasoda town in Vidisha district of MP over the purported religious conversion of eight students to Christianity. Later, four persons of right-wing groups were arrested in connection with the vandalism, they said.
During a meeting held on November 29, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had directed the police as well as the state administration to launch a probe against the NGOs receiving foreign funding, including those indulging in religious conversion.