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regular-article-logo Friday, 14 June 2024

Swedish trio face conversion charge

Tourists attend a three-day Peace and Prayer Healing Festival organised by United Churches Fellowship and the Bless Assam Mission Network

Umanand Jaiswal Guwahati Published 27.10.22, 02:34 AM
Representational Picture

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Police have started preparation for “deporting” three Swedish nationals for allegedly violating visa norms by indulging in conversion-related activities during their visit to Dibrugarh district of Upper Assam to attend a church programme.

A senior police officer told The Telegraph that the trio were on tourist visas but were allegedly indulging in missionary activities in “contravention” of visa norms.

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“We examined them today based on inputs and evidence. We have sent a report to immigration through our (police) headquarters for their deportation. They will leave tomorrow (Thursday). No case has been registered. The three are two women and a man,” the officer said. Asked what missionary activities the three had been conducting, the officer said they were “intended at conversions”, a claim denied by the organisers of the church event they attended.

The trio reached Delhi on October 19 and then proceeded to Namrup in Dibrugarh district on October 24 to attend a three-day Peace and Prayer Healing Festival organised by the United Churches Fellowship and the Bless Assam Mission Network from Tuesday in Naharkatia. One of the organisers told The Telegraph the programme was “by, for and of the Christian people” held at a football field of a tea estate for overall peace and prayers for the well-being of the ailing and the depressed. According to the organiser, the three are husband-wife duo who are teachers and a nurse.

“Where did this conversion issue come from? We had duly informed the district administration on October 13 about the invite and also of the invite to the Swedish nationals,” the organiser said, requesting anonymity. The trio attended the inaugural day’s programme on Tuesday but were picked up for examination on Wednesday morning.

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