New Delhi (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Police in India's Uttar Pradesh state have said they will not allow Hindu nationalist groups to hold a religious conversion ceremony of thousands of Muslims and Christians on Christmas Day. Mohit Agarwal, senior police official in Aligarh town where the ceremony is planned, said "strict action" would be taken against the organisers.
Last week the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a radical hindu paramilitary group, has promised to convert 4,000 Christian and 1,000 Muslim families to Hinduism next 25th December. Militants called the plan Ghar wapsi, "returning home", and on 12th December launched a fundraising to pay it.
The Hindu hardline group Bajrang Dal has threatened to hold street protests if they are not allowed to go ahead with the ceremony and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Yogi Adityanath has said he plans to attend it.
BJP is the ultra-nationalist hindu party, in power in central government of India since last 16th May. Critics say its victory at the election gave more self-assurance to these radical outfits, deemed "close" to the party.
For several months, the RSS has led several Ghar wapsi ceremonies to bring people to reconvert (or "come home") to Hinduism. The last one, in Agra, involved about 300 Muslims, all very poor migrants of Bangladeshi origin.
Many "converts" later said that they had no clue as to what was happening to them, but they went through with it because they got food and financial aid.