Pune Residents File Complaint Against Alleged Forced Religious Conversion Attempts

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Chandan Nagar, 15th June 2024: A case has been registered at the Chandan Nagar police station following allegations that individuals were coerced into converting to Christianity. The incident occurred on Saturday morning at around 10:30 am in Bidi Kamgar Colony, leading to significant unrest among the local residents.

The complaint was filed by Prerna Dilip Bhandari, a 25-year-old resident of Shani Mandir in Bidi Kamgar Colony. According to her statement, two women, identified as Rina Ramdas Mansa (50) and Elisa Ramesh Alfred (70), approached her house under the pretext of discussing the negative impact of excessive mobile phone use on children. They introduced themselves and provided pamphlets containing information about Christianity, suggesting that scanning a code on the pamphlet would provide further details.

Bhandari, who was home with her mother due to feeling unwell, was initially approached by Rina and Elisa outside her house. Despite Bhandari’s request to wait outside, the women entered the house uninvited, with three other individuals – Rebecca Anuraj Sigamani (48), Sharda Jagdish Sode, and Priya Raju Singamani (45) – waiting outside.

Once inside, Rina and Elisa allegedly began promoting Christianity, asserting that converting would improve their lives and solve their problems. They placed a Bible in Bhandari’s hands and urged her to read it instead of the Geeta, also advising against idol worship. The complaint details how the women pressured Bhandari and her mother to convert to Christianity.

The commotion attracted the attention of neighbors, who quickly gathered and escorted the alleged religious preachers to the Chandan Nagar police station. A protest ensued outside the police station, with residents demanding action against the accused.

In addition to Bhandari’s experience, the complaint states that the accused also visited other homes in the neighborhood, attempting to convert more residents by providing information about Christianity.

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Senior Inspector Sanjay Chavan confirmed that a case has been registered under IPC Sections 141 (unlawful assembly), 143 (punishment for unlawful assembly), 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint), 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings), and 298 (uttering words with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person). Police Sub-Inspector Siddhanath Khandekar is further investigating the case.