Kanoongo goes after another Christian orphanage in Madhya Pradesh
The Hindu nationalist who heads the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights this time targeted a well-known evangelical preacher, Ajay Lall, accusing him conversions and even "human trafficking" at an educational establishment he runs. This is similar to the campaign against Bishop Gerald Almeida of Jabalpur, in the same state which goes to the polls in state elections in a few weeks.
Bhopal (AsiaNews) – The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has targeted another Christian institution in Madhya Pradesh.
NCPCR Chairman Priyank Kanoongo, a Hindu nationalist from this state, is using his powers of investigation against educational establishments run by Christian missionaries, relying on false complaints of conversions as a pretext to go after minority schools, sources told AsiaNews.
The latest case was reported on Saturday in the city of Damoh where police registered a case against a well-known evangelical preacher, Ajay Lall, after the NCPCR claimed to have found irregularities in the local orphanages he runs.
Additional District Judge Damoh charged nine people under several sections of the Indian Penal Code. State authorities also cancelled the registration of an orphanage run by Adharshila Sansthan, the foundation created by Ajay Lall to promote tribal women.
On X (formerly Twitter), Priyank Kanoongo accuses Ajay Lal and his associates of "human trafficking, religious conversions of children, tribal children made pastors, orphan children adopted only by Christian families”.
This comes after Bishop Gerald Almeida and Sister Liji were indicted under the state’s anti-conversion law in the wake of a raid at Asha Kiran, a diocesan-run orphanage. In June Madhya Pradesh High Court granted them anticipatory bail.
"Dozens of institutions have been targeted by NCPCR chairman Kanoongo in the last two years,” said Fr Joseph Thankachan on behalf of the diocese.
“Alleging conversion and booking the staff and management under conversion and juvenile justice laws did not stand up in the Court of law,” he added.
Unfortunately, Kanoongo is “hand in glove with the state government, and wants to polarise society ahead of upcoming assembly polls.”