Aspirants must fill 3-part form – Our Special Correspondent Feb 21, 2018 00:00 IST
Ranchi: The district administration on Tuesday published a format of the form a religious head needs to fill up if he or she intends to convert someone and asked religious bodies under its domain to furnish details of their conversion-related activities in a week, signaling possibly the first formal rollout of Jharkhand Freedom of Religion Act-2017.
Passed as a bill in the Assembly last August, the Act received the governor’s nod last September and was notified by the state on December 19, 2017, amid barbs of religious intolerance directed at the Raghubar Das government.
Ranchi DC Rai Mahimapat Ray told this paper they were now open to applications from people wishing to convert.
Asked why religious bodies/religious heads engaged in conversion activities had to furnish details in seven days, he said, “It would help us make a proper database.”
An official explained how to fill the application form.
“The form has three parts. Part A is to be filled by the priest/ religious head seeking permission from the DC concerned to hold the event (conversion) with details of the person/s willing to convert. Part B is acknowledgement-cum-permission issued by the DC. Part C is the proof of conversion that the priest or religious head should submit to the DC after the event is done for the record,” he said.
The Act also mandates four-year rigorous imprisonment or penalty of up to Rs 1 lakh, or both, to individuals/ outfits forcing conversion of a woman, minor, and SC/ST persons. In case of forced conversion of persons from other categories, penalty would be a three-year rigorous imprisonment or Rs 50,000 fine or both.
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