Hindutva organisation Sri Ram Sene has said that it is preparing a list of churches and mosques in Karnataka it claims are illegal, the Hindustan Times reported on Wednesday.

The organisation’s chief Pramod Muthalik alleged that some citizens have converted their homes into churches by placing crosses and conducting prayers there. He alleged that such places were being used to carry out religious conversions.

Muthalik claimed that there are more than 500 such informal churches in Karnataka.

On May 13, the Sri Ram Sene chief had called for such churches to be demolished with bulldozers, reported The Quint. At an event in Mysuru, he had claimed that thousands of Hindus were being converted to Christianity every day.

“The conversion is being done through deceit and force,” Muthalik said. “The only way to deal this issue is by bringing a stringent law against conversion and by also demolishing illegal churches by bulldozing them.”

On Tuesday, Karnataka Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot cleared an ordinance introduced by the Bharatiya Janata Party government against forced religious conversions. An ordinance is a temporary law passed by the president or a governor when Parliament or a state Assembly is not in session.

The Legislative Assembly had passed the Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021, in December. However, it was not tabled in the Legislative Council, where the BJP does not have a majority.

Meanwhile, another Hindutva outfit, the Narendra Modi Vichar Manch, has called for a survey of mosques in Karnataka to look for evidence of Hindu monuments that may have stood at the same sites. According to the organisation, such evidence could include idols, kalyanis or temple tanks, or gateways to temples.

The demand comes amid a case in a Varanasi court, in which five women petitioners have sought permission to offer daily prayers at the back of the western wall of the the Gyanvapi mosque. They have claimed that there is an image of the Hindu deity Shringar Gauri at the site.

In the past few months, Hindutva groups in Karnataka have launched several campaigns targeting Muslims, and engaged in violence against them.

In February, Hindu students and mobs of men protested against Muslim women wearing hijabs to educational institutes in Karnataka. At some colleges, Muslim students were heckled, while in another case, some men climbed up a flagpole to plant a saffron flag and broke into classrooms.

On March 15, the Karnataka High Court had ruled that wearing the hijab was not essential to Islam. It had upheld the Karnataka government’s order from February 5, which had banned clothes that “disturb equality, integrity and public order”.

In April, a Hindutva group urged Hindus not to employ cab services and transport operators run by Muslims. Hindutva groups have also demanded for a ban on the use of loudspeakers in mosques, saying they lead to noise pollution.