Agra: A Bajrang Dal leader said Tuesday that all the 300 poor Muslims who he said had embraced Hinduism here will be given ration cards they badly lacked.
Amid claims by one of the 300 that they were forced to give up Islam, Bajrang Dal’s Ajju Chauhan said everyone in the group would be now taught Hindu rituals.
The Bajrang Dal organised the conversion ceremony Monday.
Chauhan, the group’s co-convener, said Tuesday that all those who converted to Hinduism would be “Sanskritised”. They would be registered as voters and would get ration cards.
He said the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), to which the Bajrang Dal is allied, had been working “hard for three months to persuade them to convert to Hinduism”.
The 300 members of some 60 Muslim families who reportedly embraced Hinduism Monday evening live in a slum on the outskirts of the Taj city — and are miserably poor.
Most of them had lived near Madhu Nagar on Gwalior Road for 17 long years after migrating either from West Bengal or Bangladesh.
Munira, one of the 300, alleged they were lured to the event on the promise of giving them a plot of land and ration cards.
“We were taken to a place where a fire ceremony was on,” Munira told ABP news channel. “We were made to sit there. We became panicky. We were told to pray to Hindu gods. We did whatever they told us…
“But now we are again reading the Holy Quran and our family members offered namaz today,” he added.
Some of the converts, picked from a colony of rag-pickers, claimed that they had been lured with incentives like a ration card and other cards that would entitle them to subsidized welfare schemes.
“We were told we will get ration card, Aadhar card, the police will not bother us. We are poor so what do we do?” said one of the converts.
Others like Sufia Begum got emotional and said, “Please forgive me and let us remain Muslims.”
However, the groups, which undertook the conversion ceremony, remain undaunted.
“Come to Aligarh on 25th, both Christians and Muslims will be converted under Adityanath’s blessings,” said Rajeshwar Singh, area chief of the Dharam Jagran Samanvay Vibhagh.
The episode, which has come after days of protests revolving around the ‘hate speech’ of Union Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, has provided the opposition with fresh ammunition. Parliament is scheduled to debate on the rising cases of communal tension on December 17.
BSP chief Mayawati has said that these events were being organised by communal forces and that her party was against it. Rajiv Shukla of the Congress said that this was being done keeping in mind the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls in 2017.
Cases of cheating and promoting enmity have now been filed by policemen who visited the families late last night.
(With input from IANS)