Allahabad High Court rejects bail to man accused of luring 90 Hindus to convert to Christianity

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The Allahabad High Court (Lucknow Bench) has rejected bail to Mohammad Umar Gautam, in Bhanu Pratap Singh versus State of U.P. And two Others. He was arrested in 2022 primarily based on the allegations of conducting a mass conversion racket in Uttar Pradesh and changing the faith of 90 Hindus to Christianity. The bench was presided over by Justice Jyotsna Sharma.

The compliant was lodged by an informant, alleging that round 90 Hindu people had been assembled at Evangelical Church of India, Hariharganj, Fatehpur with the ulterior motive of changing them to Christian religion. These people had been put underneath “undue influence, coercion and luring them by playing fraud and promise of easy money”, the order learn.

After getting this info of the incident, the Government officers visited the stated Church and questioned the pastor Vijay Massiah. He occurred to reveal that the method for conversion was being carried out for the final 34 days. He additional revealed that the identical course of ought to be completed inside 40 days, and that they had been making an attempt to convert even sufferers admitted to the Mission Hospital. He disclosed that the staff additionally had a serious position within the conversion course of. The Government officers discovered 35 people and 20 unknown individuals who had been concerned on this exercise.

One of the witnessed revealed that the candidates tried to lure him by offering guarantees of free of price medical assist, schooling and employment to his youngsters and monetary assistances as soon as he’s transformed to Christianity. His Aadhaar card was taken from him and his identify was modified to a Christian surname. He was given threats by the accused individuals that within the occasion he revealed the occasion to anybody, his life can be in danger. The different witnesses confirmed the identical.

The criticism was filed underneath sure provisions of Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020 (sections 3/5(1)), and the Indian Penal Code (Sections 153A, 506, 420, 467, 468). The given provisions of IPC are involved with selling enmity between completely different teams on floor of faith, doing acts prejudicial to upkeep of concord, felony intimidation, dishonestly inducing supply of property, forging a doc which purports to be a priceless safety or a will, and forgery for objective of dishonest.
The software for anticipatory bail was opposed on behalf of the State. The state contended that the incident resulted in loads of rigidity amongst the individuals of Hindu group and in addition led to the formation of a “law and order situation”.

The State firmly put ahead that the entire occasion was a component of a bigger scheme. It stated “There was a bigger conspiracy hatched by the applicant and his associates with wider ramifications; they were acting in an organized manner for mass conversion. This is not a case where an individual was driven by his conscience to convert to a different faith but the accused persons in tandem with each other systematically went on to influence the persons who usually came in their contact for medical treatment or otherwise.”

The State additionally argued that the underprivileged and disadvantaged people of the group had been particularly focused and their circumstances taken a bonus of for facilitating their participation within the conversion. “Their poor socio-economic condition was exploited to lure them into participating in mass conversion. The offer for easy money, jobs etc. were used as a bait to tempt them in this incident. The incident might seem not so grave on surface but had a hidden agenda behind it”, stated the State.

After deliberating upon all sides of the matter, Justice Jyotsna Sharma didn’t discover any grounds for provision of anticipatory bail to the accused, due to this fact, the bail software was rejected.

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