//Conversion should be made cognisable offence: VHP

Conversion should be made cognisable offence: VHP

PTI, Sunday, February 19, 2006  16:44 IST

PURI: The VHP’s ‘dharma samsad’, presently holding its two-day session here, has demanded that conversion from one faith to another should be made a "cognisable offence" through enactment of law. The central and state governments were required to enact legislations in this regard to curb proselytisation, a resolution adopted at the conclave, said.

The resolution called upon all parties to rise above political considerations to help frame anti-conversion laws for "preserving the country’s unity, integrity and security".

It further demanded that the flow of foreign money into the country in the name of social service through Christian organisations should be stopped. It alleged that these funds were being utilised by such organisations for "converting people into Christianity" and "funding terrorist activities".

The dharma samsad would conduct a nationwide "awareness campaign" against the "international conspiracy to divide the country and finish Hinduism", it said. "If the demand was not fulfilled, the VHP would launch an agitation throughout the country," the resolution warned.

The resolution further demanded immediate deportation of about 3,000 foreign missionaries in India who had come on tourist and business visas. Demanding that the provisions of the Orissa Freedom of Religion Act (OFRA) should be strictly implemented, the Dharma Sansad said the benefits of reservation should not extended to SCs or STs who had embraced another faith.

Funds were coming to the country, both legally and illegally, in the name of social service and rural development, to Christian NGOs, it said.

Claiming that proselytisation had assumed "grave proportions" in the states of Orissa, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Chhatisgarh and Sikkim, it said the situation might take an "explosive turn" soon.