In Kerala, 30 Christians Convert. Local VHP Says, 'We Helped'

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In Kerala, 30 Christians Convert. Local VHP Says, 'We Helped'

The "ghar vapsi" programme in progress in Kerala's Alappuzha.


Alappuzha/Thiruvananthapuram:  The Kerala government has ordered a probe into the religious conversion of eight families in Alappuzha under the auspices of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, or VHP. (Read: VHP Converts 100 Christians Converted in Gujarat)

Thirty people from eight Scheduled Caste Christian families had undergone conversion on Sunday.  The ceremony was held at a local temple at Kanichanallor.(Read: VHP conversions in Valsad Sparks Anger)

State Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala told the media that Additional Director General of Police A Hemachandran has been asked to probe the matter and submit a report. "He will look into whether any law was violated," Mr Chennithala said.
The VHP claimed the families had undergone conversion on their own free will. All the VHP did was to "facilitate the return," said local VHP leader Prathap G Padikkal, who arranged the function.

Another 150 families in the district "have expressed their wish to embrace Hinduism" and VHP would make arrangements for their "ghar wapsi" (home coming) too, he said. The ceremony is likely to take place on Christmas day.

Sunday's conversions took place amid a raging controversy on the issue.

The weekend witnessed the opposition parties going up in arms over the statement of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat about India being a "Hindu Rashtra" and the fresh news of the conversion of 100 Christian in Gujarat's Valsad. (Read: Opposition Parties Hit Back over Mohan Bhagwat's Comments)

The Gujarat government has distanced itself from the event, saying if the conversions were voluntary, the government had no role in it.

The Parliament has been stalled for almost two weeks over the opposition protests regarding the conversions of 57 Hindus families in Agra earlier this month.

Today, senior Congress leader Manish Tewari said the RSS will not be permitted to carry out the "Pakistanisation" of India. "The reason why the idea of Pakistan has gone belly-up is primarily because of its theological conception," he said.

With the BJP claiming the opposition was thwarting its efforts to bring an anti-conversion bill, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh took a dig at the saffron combine.

"Personally I have no problem with the anti-conversion law, because the VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad) and Bajrang Dal are doing just that: conversion by force and inducement," he tweeted.


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