After 236 embrace Buddhism, police lodges FIR for promoting enmity

As 236 members of Valmiki community in Ghaziabad embraced Buddhism, the district police lodged an FIR against ‘unidentified person’ on charges of promoting enmity between various groups by spreading rumours on religious conversion, after a member of the same community approached the police with the allegations.

The complainant, Montu Chandel Valmiki, alleged the conversion as a criminal conspiracy fabricated in order to incite caste-based violence and promote enmity between different groups.

The police have lodged the FIR under various sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC).

In the FIR, Chandel has claimed that the certificates of conversion do not contain name, date, address and registration numbers of the members who embraced Buddhism.

The development has come amid mounting anger over the Hathras case where a teenage girl from Valmiki community was allegedly raped and brutally assaulted by four upper caste men in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras on September 14.

She succumbed to assault injuries at Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi a fortnight later, which was followed by a hushed-up cremation, allegedly forced by the Hathras district administration.

The police have lodged the FIR under section 153-A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 505 (publishing or circulating any statement, rumour or report with intent to any class or community of persons to commit any offence against any other class or community) of IPC.

Superintendent of Police (city) II, Ghaziabad, Ghyanedra Singh, told IANS that the police are yet to start the investigation.

“We have lodged an FIR today based on the complaint received. The verification of the accusations levelled by the complainant where he alleged the absence of details mentioned on the certificates is yet to be made. Further investigation is underway,” he stated.

The conversion was done on October 14 in the presence of Rajratan Ashok Rao Ambedkar, who is the great-grandson of Baba Saheb Ambedkar. Later, Buddhist Society of India distributed certificates to the converted members.