Agra conversion row: Main accused arrested

Agra conversion row: Main accused arrested

Nand Kishore Balmiki, the main accused in the alleged forced conversion of about 100 people in Agra recently, was arrested after he surrendered before the police today.
Balmiki surrendered himself at the Hari Parbat police station this morning, the Agra police said.

An FIR had been registered on December 9 against Dharma Jagran Manch and Balmiki, the outfit's UP convener, in connection with the "forced conversion" of about 100 people, mostly Muslim slum dwellers, through a ritual carried out by the Hindu organisation on December 8.

Police had registered cases under Section 153 (A) (promoting enmity between different groups) and Section 415 (using fraudulent means) of the IPC on a complaint by a person identified as Ismail, who was among those who was reconverted.

Police had conducted raids at various areas to arrest Balmiki and announced a cash reward of Rs 12,000 on any information about his whereabouts.

On December 14, Balmiki had managed to give police the slip but his son Rahul and relative Krishna Kumar were arrested from a guest house in Etah district.

The issue had set off a chorus of criticism against the government by the opposition inside and outside Parliament.

Yesterday, members of Balmiki community had staged a demonstration outside the Divisional Commissioner's office here in support of the Dharma Jagran Manch's UP convener.

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