Eight people, including six men and two women falsely accused of forcibly converting children to Christianity in Madhya Pradesh in May 2017 were found not guilty by the Ratlam Sessions Court. The final judgment in the case was delivered on February 19, 2020.
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) that represented the eight Christians accused of conversion issued a press statement saying, “On May 22, 2017 they were escorting the children to a Bible camp in Nagpur when the railway police separated the young children from them. What followed was a tale of unspeakable harassment of the children and the accused at the hands of the authorities.” The statement added, “The ADF India legal team had to fight at every stage to secure them justice. They had to move the High Court to reunite the children with their parents. They had to persist for 3 months to secure the bail of the accused. And now, they have secured their acquittal.”
The charges were baseless as the parents of the children were Christian themselves, so there was no question of conversion. Many of them hail from the Bhil Adivasi community. MP has strict anti-conversion laws that require those wishing to convert have to give prior notice and police can investigate to check if the conversions are forced.
“Justice has finally been done!” reacted Mrs. Tehmina Arora, Director, ADF India. She went on to add, “But we must not forget the toll that such false cases take on the families. No one should be targeted for their faith. The anti-conversion laws are tools to harass and target Christians and should be repealed since they restrict the freedom of religion guaranteed under the Constitution of India.”