Lavanya Death Case : Petition in Supreme Court seeks probe, stringent Anti-conversion law

It is the duty of the Government to take steps to prevent religious conversions taking place by way of intimidation, etc. !

New Delhi – A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in the Supreme Court on 1st February seeks investigation into the death of 17-year-old Lavanya, who died by suicide in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu allegedly due to torture and pressure by her missionary school to convert to Christianity.

The PIL has been filed by Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay who argued that fraudulent religious conversion by intimidation, threatening, deceivingly luring through gifts and monetary benefits violates Articles 14, 21 and 25 of the Constitution and seeks directions to the Centre and the States to prevent it.

“The tribal belts are mostly illiterate regions. According to IMA research statistics, the conditions of health, education, diet and drinking water are rated as poor among the tribals who inhabit these areas. These areas are the most socially backward. The social backwardness opens opportunities for missionaries to work among deprived classes for their socio-economic-cultural and educational development and through this, spread the message of the gospel which eventually results in conversion”, reads the petition.

Citing various instances of forceful conversion, the petitioner says that Centre must enact a law that scrutinises the foreign funds that operate under the veil of NGOs. He stated that foreign-funded individuals and NGOs are given a monthly target for the religious conversions and if this continues and Centre doesn’t interfere, the Hindus ‘will become a minority’.

“Petitioner submits that India is Socialist Secular Democratic Republic, and Rule of Law is the basic dictum of our Democracy. Article 14 secures not only equality before the law and equal protection of law. The Preamble of the Constitution of India secures economic and political justice to every citizen; thus, it is the duty of the Government to take steps to prevent religious conversions by way of intimidation and luring monetary benefits to socially and economically underprivileged people, particularly those belonging to the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. Therefore, it is prayed that the Centre must constitute a Judicial Commission or an expert committee to examine the anti-conversion laws and policies of the developed Nations and the best provisions of the Anti-conversion law to Laws of the State and enact a law to control forceful and deceitful religious conversion. Alternatively, the Law Commission of India may be directed to prepare a report on religious conversions in India within a period of three months”, the petitioner said.

#Church_Killed_TN_HinduGirl trends as Hindus expose the reality of missionary schools

Before Lavanya died, she said that she was forced to convert to Christianity and was tortured by school authorities when she refused. Earlier also instances of conversion have been reported. St. Paul’s Higher Primary School in Karnataka has also been accused of serving meat and carrying out forced conversions. In Gujarat too, there was an attempt by missionaries to convert girls at Mother Teresa shelter home. In view of these incidents, the main agenda of missionary schools seems to be conversion.

In view of these incidents, hashtag #Church_Killed_TN_HinduGirl trended on Twitter 22nd January. People who participated in the trend threw light on the anti-Hindu activities going on inside missionary schools. Along with this, different incidents of conversion activities have also been exposed. In the trend, devout Hindus demanded justice for the Hindu girl who committed suicide. Demands were made to mete out severe punishment to the school officials who are responsible for her death. This hashtag was trending in fourth place and it was in the top 10 national trends on Twitter in India for a long time. This trend had over 50 thousand tweets.

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