Denied 'incentive', 17 reconvert to Islam in UP

Denied 'incentive', 17 reconvert to Islam in UP

Saffron outfits had promised land after conversion, they say

Denied 'incentive', 17 reconvert to Islam in UP

The conversion controversy resurfaced after a brief lull in Uttar Pradesh's Agra district, about 350 km from here, when as many as 17 Muslims, who had converted to Hinduism, “returned” to their old faith.

According to sources, the reconversion rituals were performed at the Mahuar Lathia village in the district during a religious ceremony by a Muslim cleric on Friday.

Reports said all 17 men and women had to again solemnise their “nikah” (Muslim marriage) as the cleric told them their earlier “nikah” had become null and void when they converted to Hinduism last December.

Some of those who re-converted said they returned to their old faith after those behind the conversion failed to fulfil their promise of giving them plots of land. “We had been offered land plots by saffron outfits if we converted, but later on they reneged on their promise,” said one of them. 

Reports said these 17 Muslims from the “Nat” community—a nomadic group whose members earn a livelihood through street shows of their gymnastic skills—decided to reconvert after they were denied entry into a marriage ceremony of a member of the same community on the ground that they were no longer Muslims and that they would be allowed only after they became Muslims again.

Reports also said a community panchayat had been convened on May 14 in which a decision would be taken on their readmission to the group.

Agra had hit the headlines last December when several cases of conversion, encouraged by saffron outfits, were reported from there. 

The conversions had triggered a nationwide controversy and acquired political overtones after the Opposition parties said the saffron outfits had been encouraging conversions by offering incentives. The saffron outfits called the conversion “ghar waapsi” (returning home).

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