NEW DELHI: Opposition BSP and Congress today sought to corner the government over the reported conversion of Muslims to Hinduism in Agra, saying changing religion by force and by allurement was illegal.
The government, however, washed its hand-off the issue saying law and order is a state subject.
Raising the issue, Mayawati (BSP) said RSS-affiliate Bajrang Dal converted some Muslim families to Hinduism in Agra by force and by allurement.
"This is a serious matter as allurement was given to poor to get them converted," she said, adding a similar exercise is planned in Aligarh by the month-end where Christians will be converted to Hinduism.
The Constitution, she said, guarantees religious freedom and it was responsibility of both the Centre and the state government to ensure safety of life, property and religion of all.
"The Government should take serious note of the Agra incident ... strict action should be taken," she said, warning that such forced conversions will create and breed communal tension in the country.
Forced conversions should be stopped, she demanded as members from Congress, Left, TMC and SP joined her.
Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said the Chairman has admitted 15 Zero Hour notices. "What can I do if all of you stand up and shout. There are Zero Hour notices with me, what do I do?" he said as Opposition members shouted 'Pradhan Mantri Jawab Do (Prime Minister reply)'.
Mayawati said the government should respond.
Anand Sharma (Cong) said the government should be directed to give a clarification on the issue. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said FIR has been filed by the Uttar Pradesh government on the issue.
"Action has to be taken by state government. Law and order is a state issue and the state government has to deal with it. Centre has no role in that," he said.
He objected to RSS name being mentioned in the case saying it was not appropriate to take name of the organisation for "political reasons" and the Chair should expunge the same.
Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) said Prime Minister should come to the House and clarify on the issue. "India is a secular democratic republic and it will remain so. If attempts are made to change it, you will not remain but India will remain," he said.
Naresh Agarwal (SP) said FIR on the issue has already been lodged by the state government.
Digvijay Singh (Cong) said religious conversions by force and by allurement are criminal offence and government should respond.
As treasury benches joined to oppose raising of the issue, Kurien asked members to allow Zero Hour mentions.
But Anand Sharma, Sharad Yadav (JD-U) and Sitaram Yechury kept on speaking.
"Government has come into existence by taking oath on the Constitution. It is bound to uphold principles of the Constitution. If there are any violations, government will take note of it and take action," Kurien said.
He asked members to give notice under relevant rules if they wanted a discussion on the issue.
"I cannot allow further discussion... Without notice you have spent 30 minutes," he said, after which Zero Hour submissions were taken up.