TAMIL NADU

`Withdrawal of anti-conversion law regrettable'

CHENNAI, MAY 19. The State Government's decision to withdraw the Anti-Conversion Law was ``painful and regrettable,'' said the State organiser of the Hindu Munnani, Rama Gopalan, in a statement here today.

The Chief Minister would not have taken the decision wholeheartedly, he claimed. When she brought the law every one welcomed it. Though no one was arrested under the law it created a sense of fear among those who indulged in ``forcible conversion.''

Now the victory achieved by these forces in withdrawing the law, he said, was only temporary as the Hindus would be ready to pay any price for putting an end to ``forcible conversion''.

The Munnani, he said, would oppose the withdrawal of the law in a Gandhian way and would coordinate mutt heads, elders in society and religious heads to bring back the law. To prevent ``forcible conversion'', he appealed to people to set up village level and town level committees.

He felt that only by eradicating untouchability and avoiding communal clashes a strong faith in Hinduism could be achieved which in turn would help prevent ``forcible conversion.''

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has also condemned the repeal of the law.

The State general secretary, R.S.Narayanaswamy, said withdrawal of the law was totally ``unjustified and unwarranted'' as no such situation had occurred in the meantime.

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