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Probe into reconversion, VHP denies law violation

Probe into reconversion, VHP denies law violation

Publication: The Utkal Age
Date: June 19,2000

The Cuttack district administration has started an inquiry into the reconversion at Keutibereni, where five persons were reconverted from Christianity to Hinduism at Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram, on Saturday. According to official sources, an official of additional tehsildar rank along with police officials visited the ashram and talked to those persons who were reconverted.

Officials of the district administration said that the reconversion was carried out without the prior-knowledge of the administration. However the Orissa Freedom of Religion Act says that the district administration should be intimated beforehand about the conversion through an affidavit.

On the contrary, the Viswa Hindu Parishad has denied that nothing was wrong with the reconversion and no law was violated. VHP spokesperson, Mr Arabinda Rout, told The Asian Age that there was no need to intimate the district administration as the five persons who were reconverted had been converted to Christianity in 1997 and at that time the district administration was not informed beforehand.

These five persons were Hindus earlier and this is just the home-coming, Rout says. They opted to come back to Hinduism on their own and they have not been forced, allured or induced as per the OFRA regulations, he added.

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