Case regd against 15 men for involvement in conversion

Baripada: A case was registered against 15 persons, two Baptist pastors and 13 tribals, for alleged involvement in illegal religious conversion in Orissa`s Mauyrbhanj district, police said on Sunday.

The case was registered yesterday after it was found that 13 tribals of Rasgobindpur area had been converted in an illegal manner by the two pastors, Inspector In-Charge of Rasgobindpur police station, Santosh Das said.

The pastors, identified as Samuel Mohapatra and Manuel Mohapatra of Balasore, as well as the tribals were found to have violated the provisions of Orissa Freedom of Religion Act, he said adding permission of the district authorities is mandatory for undertaking any religious conversion.

The conversion of the 13 tribals, belonging to four villages, had taken place during the last two-three days, police said.

Strongly protesting against the incident, BJP`s state vice president R K Das demanded immediate arrest of the two pastors.