Muslim conversion row: Balmiki had contested 2012 municipal polls on BJP ticket

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Lucknow | Published: December 17, 2014 6:08:24 AM

Nand Kishore Balmiki, who was arrested today for alleged forced conversion of about 100 people in Agra recently...

Nand Kishore Balmiki, who was arrested today for alleged forced conversion of about 100 people in Agra recently, had contested municipal polls on BJP ticket in 2012 but it is being probed if he presently has any links with the party, a senior police official said here today.

“From initial interrogation of Valmiki, a number of information has come to the fore. Among them is that he had contested municipal polls in 2012 on BJP ticket,” IG, Law and Order, A Satish Ganesh told reporters here.

Asked if Valmiki has any links with BJP now, Ganesh said there was no information on his present relation with the party.

The IG said Valmiki was being interrogated and Agra police would apply for his remand in the court so the case could be thoroughly probed.

Meanwhile, replying to a question on the citizenship of those who were converted, Ganesh said local intelligence unit has been asked to probe the citizenship of 300 persons of 56 families, who were converted in Agra.

“There were contradictions in the statements of those who had converted, and there addresses were being verified in concerned districts of West Bengal,” he said.

Balmiki surrendered this morning at the Hari Parbat police station in Agra.

An FIR had been registered on December 9 against Dharma Jagran Manch and its state UP convenor, Balmiki in connection with the alleged “forced conversion” of about 100 people, mostly Muslim slum dwellers, through a ritual carried out by the Hindu organisation on December 8.

Police had registered cases under Section 153 (A) (promoting enmity between different groups) and Section 415 (using fraudulent means) of the IPC on a complaint by a person identified as Ismail, who was among those who was reconverted.

Police had conducted raids at various places to arrest Balmiki and also announced a cash reward of Rs 12,000 to those who would provide information about his whereabouts.

On December 14, Balmiki had managed to give police the slip but his son Rahul and relative Krishna Kumar were arrested from a guest house in Etah district.

The issue had set off a chorus of criticism against the government by the opposition inside and outside Parliament.

Yesterday, members of Balmiki community had staged a demonstration outside the Divisional Commissioner’s office here in support of the Dharma Jagran Manch’s UP convener.

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