Mumbai, Dec 16: Stirring up a controversy, Congress leader Nilesh Rane, son of Narayan Rane, on Tuesday advocated religious conversion to prevent incidents like the Sydney siege from happening in India.
"With incidents like the 1 happened in Sydney happening almost everywhere, India should target on converting as many people to Hinduism," Rane, son of party strongman Narayan Rane, tweeted.
A heavily-armed man of Iranian-origin yesterday held 17 people hostage at a cafe in Australian city of Sydney. The 17-hour long incident resulted in three deaths. Two Indians were also among the captives but they escaped safely.
The former MP's remark comes at a time when the incident of alleged forced religious conversions in Uttar Pradesh has triggered country-wide revulsion. Amid demands that Prime Minister Narendra Modi make a statement over the issue, the opposition parties staged protests in Parliament, disrupting functioning of both the Houses.
Rane, however, defended his remark, saying that the conversion issue should not be politicised, and if people want to change their religion, they should be given freedom to do so.
"I, being a Hindu, wish that there should be no politics played over the conversion issue. It is not as if people are being converted at gun point. Seeing the terrorist activities happening around the world, it is necessary that a Hindu stays alert, so that such activities (Sydney incident) do not happen in the country," Rane said.