LUCKNOW: As many as 13 persons were arrested from different locations in Sitapur in a late-night crackdown on Monday in connection with their alleged involvement in illegal religious conversions.
While in Talgaon, a pastor and five of his associates were arrested; in Rampur Mathura, three, including a pastor, were arrested. Here a face-off ensued between the police team and a group of women who opposed the arrest.
In Misrikh, four more people were arrested on similar charges. Police also booked two people in Tambaur but had not formally arrested them till Tuesday evening.
Those arrested in the three police stations include Mukesh, Hansraj, Sonu, Shiv Kumar, Ram Bhati. Pyareram, Buddhsagar, Seema, Ram Kumar, Jitendra Kumar, Ramesh Babu, Deepu Gaur, and Guddu.
Charges under the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion of Religion Act, 2021, have been slapped upon them along with those of rioting, assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty, said police.
The arrests are a sequel to the arrest of ten persons, including a pastor, from Sitapur district itself about a week ago.
Sitapur’s additional SP Narendra Pratap Singh said that they had received complaints from villagers that a group of men were inducing them with offers of jobs, money and even marriage for converting them to Christianity in Talgaon, Mishrikh, and Rampur Mathura.
“A case has been registered against two in Tambaur and evidence is being collected,” he said.
On the other hand, in the previous case in which Pastor David Asthana was arrested on charges of conversion from Sadarpur, police are tracking the foreign funding made to his NGO. On December 22, David was sent to 14-day police custody by a local court.

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