Conversion of two minor Hindu girls to Christianity at Kedgaon in Pune District

  • Incident at Pandita Ramabai Mukti Mission Anath Ashram
  • The Indian Human Rights Council alleges that Police were negligent and committed unforgivable errors in the investigation

Pune – “An incident involving the forced conversion of two minor Hindu girls from the Hindu Khatik community to Christianity by Pandita Ramabai Mukti Mission Anath Ashram in Kedgaon (Taluk Daund) has come to light. In this regard, during the case registration, the Yavat Police station employed inappropriate clauses, omitted the names of certain complainants, and appeared to support the accused. The investigation is currently being conducted improperly. Consequently, it is recommended that the entire case be thoroughly investigated by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) or the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Additionally, the enforcement of anti-conversion laws should be ensured,” such a demand was made by Ashish Sonawane, an advocate of the Indian Human Rights Council in a press conference. (Why does one need to make such a demand? Can’t the Police understand it? – Editor) This press conference was held at Patrakar Bhavan on 17th January.

Sandhya More, director of the Indian Human Rights Council outlined the sequence of events

1. The converted girls are residing with their aunt and were enrolled in Bapusaheb Pawar Primary School. Sandhya Vasve, a social worker affiliated with ‘Bharatiya Samaj Seva Kendra, Koregaon Park,’ which is associated with the school, used persuasive language with the family members and pressured them to take admission to the Ashram school mentioned above.

2. Following their admission in April 2022, the girls were barred from meeting their family in person or visiting home. Additionally, they were forbidden from contacting family members through mobile phones and subjected to both physical and mental abuse.

3. The abuses included preventing the girls from observing Hindu Dharma customs and disallowing them to wear bindi, gandha, and bangles. Furthermore, the Idol of Deity Shrikrushna, given by their mother, was deliberately destroyed.

4. The girls at the Ashram were given wine, taken to church, and forced to pray exclusively to Jesus Christ as the only God. Additionally, they were baptised, and their names were changed.

5. The girls’ aunt contacted us in September 2023. Subsequently, the above truth emerged during the investigation conducted by the Commission. In November 2023, the Commission officially filed a complaint with the Police.