Goa pastor arrested for alleged religious conversions

The Goa Police have arrested a pastor for allegedly converting people to Christianity through inducement.

Pastor Domnic D’Souza of the Five Pillar Church in Sodiem village in North Goa was arrested late Thursday following two written complaints by Nikhil Shetye and Prakash Khobrekar.

An offence under sections 153-A, 295-A, 506 (II) read with 34 of the Indian Penal Code and sections 3, 4 of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954 have been registered against him in both the complaints.

Along with the pastor, his partner Joan Mascarenhas and some unknown associates have also been booked under the same sections, the senior police official told IANS.

“Domnic D’Souza has been admitted to a hospital after his arrest,” police said.

In their complaints, the victims have alleged that Dominic D’Souza and his associates were inducing people for religious conversion.

The complaint also stated that all the accused persons, deliberately made gestures by uttering words, doing acts and making representations to the complainant in respect of drugs for healing a disease, with an intention of hurting the complainant’s religious sentiments, and lured the complainant to accept the religion professed and propagated by them.

The Mapusa police are further investigating the case.

Earlier, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had claimed that people from marginalised and economically backward sections were being targeted for religious conversion and had warned against such acts. However, Leader of Opposition Michael Lobo had rejected his charges and had said that no religious conversion was taking place in Goa.




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