India’s top court has dis-charged a Catholic priest from a religious conversion case, registered against him in central Indian Madhya Pradesh state three years ago.
Father George Mangalapilly, a professor at St. Ephrem’s Theo-logical College in Satna diocese, was charged with converting Dharmendar Dohar, a Hindu, to Christianity by offering him a bribe of 5,000 rupees (some US$70) and other benefits back in December 2017.
“Apart from the testimony of the witness, there is nothing else on record which could potentially be relied upon against the appellant,” wrote the top court in its order while discharging the priest from the case. The priest along with his 32 seminarians and another priest were taken into police custody on Dec. 14 as they were on their way to sing Christmas carols while visiting Christian homes, a tradition they followed for decades. The Hindu activists, mostly members of the Bajarang Dal, also blocked officers of the police station and demanded action against the priests and all the seminarians for attempting to convert Hindus and.They also alleged ulterior motives to carol singing.