Days after 230 Dalits took up Buddhism, UP Police file FIR over conversion ‘rumours’

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After 230 residents of a Ghaziabad village said they converted to Buddhism on October 14, the UP Police filed an FIR against “unknown persons” for “spreading false rumors about religious conversions”. 

The FIR was filed on Thursday, at the Sahibabad Police Station after a complaint by a 22 year sold “social worker” Montu Chandel, with the IPC sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, etc) and 505 (whoever makes, publishes or circulates any statement, rumour or report)

The FIR states, “Some unknown persons and organizations spread false rumours about religious conversions of 230 people. The certificate issued in its connection bears no name and address and there is no date of issuance, nor there is a registration number. Anyone’s name can be written on it. There has been an attempt to flare caste-based tensions as per a criminal conspiracy”.

The Buddhist Society of India has issued certificates to 236 people and bears the association’s trustee manager Rajratan Ambedkar’s and Nagarjuna Surai Sasai, the association’s chairman’s signature on them. 

“How can they say religious conversions in Karera on October 14 is a rumour? I was present there. There is a Facebook Live video of the event; there are photographs of the event. What is the basis of this FIR?”, said Rajratan Ambedkar. 

Sahibabad officer Keshav Kumar said, “We are investigating the allegations. The certificates only bear the date of conversion. The allegation that the documents are not authentic will be investigated. No arrests have been made in the matter so far.”

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