Six people have been sent to jail for rioting and insult after a Hindu Jagran Manch member, Arvind Kumar Gupta, lodged a complaint that they were converting a Dalit to Christianity.
The six men had gone to meet their friend at Gangpur village in Kasganj. All of them are Dalits who had converted to Christianity.
Gupta, on the basis of which the FIR was filed, said: “When I reached there, I found these men distributing money and religious literature among villagers.”
police later said that they found no evidence that the men were preachers.
Kasganj DSP, Deep Kumar Pant said: “For now, there is no evidence to suggest that the group of men was involved in religious conversion.”
The six men were, however, booked for other charges listed in Gupta’s complaint – rioting, assault, intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace, criminal intimidation, mischief, and deliberate and malicious act to outrage religious feelings – at the Sikandarpur Vaish police station in Kasganj.
The reason for the last, police said, was that “abusive” content about Hindu deities was found on a page in a diary found inside the van in which the six men had come to Gangpur.
The six arrested persons are Shrinivas, Kuldeep, Rahul Kumar, Shiv Kumar, Durgesh, and Kishan, all between 30 and 50 years old.
They were visiting their friend Rampal on Sunday. One of the accused (Kishan) is absconding.
Gupta wanted them to be charged under the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance, 2020, which bans ‘forced’ conversions.
“They were not preaching. They were just having food at a friend’s house,” the police said.
SHO Jitendra Kumar said that “they were not able to provide any explanation about the content”.