Police officials in Karnataka’s Dakshina Kannada district raided a Christian prayer hall after a Hindutva group claimed that forced religious conversions were being carried out there, The New Indian Express reported on Monday.
District Superintendent of Police Rishikesh Sonawane, however, denied the allegations.
The police raided the Moriah Retreat Centre in the Konalu village of Dakshina Kannada village on Saturday night after the Hindu Jagarana Vedike made the allegation about forced conversion. Twenty-seven persons were attending a prayer meeting when the police raided the site, Sonawane said.
The police official said that those attending the meeting hailed from the Shikaripura town of Shivamogga district. They had gathered at the meeting voluntarily, he added.
The police did not file any case against the Moriah Retreat Centre and all the 27 persons were also sent back to their homes, Sonawane said. The retreat hall has not sought any action against the Hindutva group, the Hindustan Times quoted an unidentified police official as saying.
Over the last one year, there have been several instances of Hindutva groups attacking churches and Christian prayer halls after accusing them of engaging in forced conversions.
On November 29, 15 to 20 Bajrang Dal members allegedly disrupted a prayer meeting at the Jesus Prayer Hall in the Belur town of the Hassan district, according to The Hindu. Some persons who were part of the meeting stopped the Bajrang Dal members from entering the prayer hall, after which the police arrived at the scene and dispersed the gathering.
In September, members of the Hindu Jagarana Vedike allegedly barged into a Christian prayer hall and assaulted worshippers at the Kukkundoor village in the Udupi district, the Deccan Herald reported.
The police had registered two cases in connection with the incident.