Govt will crack down against forced conversions: Minister

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Bangalore, Sep 15 (UNI) Karnataka Power Minister K S Eswarappa today said the state government would not tolerate forcible and illegal religious conversions in the state and stern action would be taken against those indulging in such activities.

Talking to newspersons here, he alleged that ''certain anti-social elements who cannot stomach the smooth-sailing of the first-ever BJP Government in the south have indulged in bringing disrepute to the government.'' Referring to yesterday's attack on places of worship in Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and Chickmagalur districts in the state, the minister said the state government had ordered an inquiry into these incidents and would not spare those behind it. ''Be it the Bajrang Dal activists or somebody else, they would be dealt with iron hand,''he added.

He said the state police had arrested several people, including those belonging to Bajrang Dal in connection with the violence.

Police were instructed to take actions against all those involved in violence and also organisations or individuals found to be encouraging forceful conversions.

Criticising JD (S) President H D Deve Gowda for blaming the state government for the violence in Mangalore, Mr Eshwarappa appealed not to worsen the situation by making provocative statements.

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