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At least 100 persons from 37 families were reportedly re-converted to Hinduism at a ceremony organised by an offshoot of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in the cantonment area in Agra. The Dharma Jagran cell of the RSS and Bajrang Dal claimed to have organised the joint mass conversion ceremony where about 100 people, mostly slum dwellers, were yesterday re-converted and "brought back to the Hindu fold" after a ritual that included tying of sacred threads on their wrists and putting vermilion mark on their foreheads. "They were interested in coming back home (to the Hindu fold)," Rajeshwar Singh, area chief of the Dharma Jagran Samanvay Vibhag claimed. He said the people who underwent conversion were from West Bengal and were living in slums ever since they had arrived in Agra some 25 years ago.
The organisers of the event said the room in which the re-conversion ceremony took place was transformed into a makeshift temple and idols of Hindu gods and goddesses were placed there. The converts would be given instructions to perform rituals according to Hindu religion for a month, the organisers said, adding that they will also be given new names soon. Most of the coverts, who are primarily engaged in trash collection, shied away from speaking on the matter. They said that their contractor, Ismail, who had brought them from West Bengal, alone knew the reason for conversion. While local Muslim leaders denounced the event as "drama", Abdul Quddoos Rumi, prominent Muslim religious leader from the city, said he could give a reply on the matter only after a query in Urdu was placed before him in a prescribed format.
In a debate moderated by TIMES NOW's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, panelists -- Asaduddin Owaisi, MP, Lok Sabha, AIMIM; Kamal Faruqui, Political Analyst; Maulana Maqsood-ul-Hasan Qasmi, Chairman, Imam Council of India; Gaurav Bhatia, National President, Legal Wing, SP; Dr Sudhanshu Trivedi, National Spokesperson, BJP & Political Advisor to Rajnath Singh; Rajeshwar Singh, Regional Head, Dharma Jagran Samanvaya Vibhaag; Pandit Ajay Gautam, Spokesperson, Shankaracharya, Dwarkadhish Peeth and Swami Chakrapani, President, Akhil Bhartiya Hindu Mahasabha -- discuss whether, #FaithPolitics hit UP and Centre. Is Government on the backfoot over faith politics?