Carol Singers, Priests Allegedly Beaten up For 'Religious Conversions' in Satna

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She claimed police had brought the priests and seminarians to the station because the situation in the village was getting tense due to the presence of Bajrang Dal activists.

A first information report (FIR) was filed against Fr George Manganappilly from Ernakulam, who is a professor at St Ephrem's Theological College in Satna, following a complaint by a person, allegedly a right wing Hindu activist, that he was offered Rs 5,000 to convert to Christianity. The arrest was made on the basis of a complaint lodged by one Dharmendra Kumar Dohar, who said he was lured with money to conrt to Christianity.

Allegations of "religious conversions" is not new in this area of the state.

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Police have also filed a case against those accused of torching the vehicle.

The cops had then said that a vigilante group called Dharma Jagran Manch had complained that the children were being taken to Mumbai by train for conversion to Christianity. Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, SFX, Secretary Generation, CBCI said: "Unfortunately, in Madhya Pradesh there have been other signs of harassment of the Catholic Church in the last few months about which we have not raised a hue and cry".

Father M. Rony, social work director of Satna diocese, told PTI that some young men stormed the venue of a pre- Christmas function at Bhoomkar village, 15 km from the district headquarters, around 9 last night and created a ruckus, alleging that religious conversion was going on there. "It is painful to notice that the government is insensitive towards the growing intolerance on minorities", he said in a statement.

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Some of the priests and seminarians, released in the early hours of Friday, alleged they had been roughed up by members of the right-wing group on the police station's premises.

"Except the priest who was arrested others were allowed to go on Friday".

All 32 carollers, accompanied by two priests, were taken to the police station. He alleged that the police stood by as the priests and seminarians were assaulted.

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However, Sub-inspector Sharma denied claim about members of the Catholic community having been assaulted during the incident.

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