Maharashtra witnessed a three-fold rise in the number of people opting for religious conversion in the last three years, replies to an RTI query has revealed. In India Article 25 guarantees every individual the right to freely propagate her or his faith"There was a three-fold increase in religion change in the last three years. Along with the change in names and date of birth, there is a rise towards change of religion as well," response to the RTI query filed by activist Anil Galgali, said. "The last three years witnessed a three-fold increase in the change of religion. Everyday, two change of religion applications are cleared," it said.
Galgali had recently filed the application with the state government's Printing and Publication Directorate, seeking information about the number of people opting for a change in date of birth, name and religion in the last three years. He received a reply on April 26.
The reply was provided by Public Information Officer A C Udvant for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016. As per the information, 247 people opted for a change of religion in 2014, 615 in 2015 and 797 last year.
The number of applications rejected was minimum. Only 33 applications were rejected in 2014, sixty in 2015 and 45 in 2016, it said."Revenue earned from the religion change applications was Rs 65,581 in year 2014, Rs 2,61,714 in 2015 and Rs 3,43,031 in 2016," it said.
The total number of applications for change of name received in three years was over 3.98 lakh (59,200 in 2014, 1,56,477 in 2015 and 1,82,977 last year). The revenue the government collected under this head in the three years was Rs 16,73,30,221, the reply said.
Similarly, the total number of change of birth date applications received in these three years was 8,496 and the revenue generated through this in the last three years was Rs 19,34,309.
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