An Indian man who claimed a group of carol singers illegally converted him has now said he is a member of the militant Hindu group, Bajrang Dal and is unwilling to confirm his allegation against the Christian carolers.
The complaint made last Thursday (14 December) to the police by Dharmendra Dohar led to the arrest of 30 Christians, who insisted they were only singing songs.
Dohar was asked by New Delhi TV if he had changed his religion. “I can’t speak on this,” he said. “If I do, I will get embroiled in the issue. It will be said that I’m changing my statement.”
New Delhi TV asked Dohar if it was Bajrang Dal or the police he was afraid of. “I’m concerned about my family. It is because of me they got into trouble,” he said. “We were told not to allow these people (Christians) to come into our homes and mingle with us.”
Dohar also alleged that the carol singers paid him 5,000 rupees and told him to ‘worship Jesus Christ’.
The incident took place in a village near Satna in Madhya Pradesh. The central Indian state has some of the strictest anti-conversion laws in the country.
WARNED NOT TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS
Since the incident a right-wing Hindu nationalist group, Hindu Jagran Manch (HJM), in Uttar Pradesh has warned Christian schools in one of the state’s largest cities not to celebrate Christmas.
HJM issued letters to all Christian schools in Aligarh, calling on them to refrain from Christmas celebrations where Hindu students are in the majority.
HJM claim that students being asked to bring toys and gifts into school to celebrate Christmas is a step towards forced conversions. “This is the easy way to lure them into Christianity,” said Sonu Savita, City President of HGM. “We are talking to parents organisations too and appeal to them to oppose these activities.”
HJM’s State Secretary Sanju Bajaj said, “If the schools fail to follow our directives, we will stage protests outside the institutions.”
- That the carolers and Christians in Madhya Pradesh would not be intimidated into forgoing their Christmas celebrations
- For Dharmendra Dohar and those like him who regularly falsely accuse Christians of forced conversion
- For peace and safety for Christians in India this Christmas.