Fearing demolition of their houses, more than 800 Valmikis in UP’s Rampur district embraced Islam on Tuesday, hoping that it would help them save their abodes, reports The Indian Express.
While the Muslim clerics were barred from carrying out the conversion, the Valmikis donned skull caps to show that they have converted to Islam.
However, no conversion rituals were performed, as per media reports.
According to the Valmikis, the state civic authorities had notified them that their houses would be demolished for setting up a shopping mall in that place.
But, the state government denied this and had issued a press release stating that it had no plans of demolishing any illegally constructed structures.
District Magistrate C P Tripathi revealed that an employee of the Municipal Board, Sibtain Nabi had reportedly mislead the Valmikis, asking them to convert to Islam in order to save their houses from demolition. The matter is being investigated.
The Valmikis, who have been protesting against the alleged demolition of their houses in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, had threatened the government that they would embrace Islam if their plea goes unheard.