Religious conversion: Law should not be weak so culprits could escape, says Goa CM

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Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Tuesday that those involved in illegal religious conversions should not go scot-free on account of ‘weak law’ and hence his legal team is studying the matter and if required, the government will bring an anti-conversion law.

Sawant, in an interview to a local channel, said, “I am not focusing only on Hindutva, but on the history of Goa. I am not differentiating between minority and majority communities. We have to move forward.”

“Goa is a progressive state and we want to move ahead. It is my right to stop such activities (illegal conversions) as the Chief Minister. If someone files a complaint, he/she should get justice. At present, the law in this regard is weak, hence if any change is needed, we will bring it. My legal team is studying the matter,” Sawant said.

Pastor Domnic D’Souza of the Five Pillar Church in Sodiem village in North Goa was recently arrested for allegedly converting people and was later released on bail. Since then Goa is debating over an anti-conversion law.

“We need to preserve the culture of Goa. It is my responsibility. Also, we need to pass on the history of Goa to the next generation. The next generation can’t go the right way if they don’t know the history,” he said.

“If a complaint is lodged against those involved in forceful conversions and if there is no provision to bring them to justice, then there is a need to change the law,” Sawant said, adding that such people should not go scot-free.

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