Panaji. Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said the pastor, who was arrested recently for allegedly luring people to convert to Christianity in the state, already has several cases, including one related to the death of a person. Talking to reporters on Saturday, Sawant said that the state government fully respects the right to religious freedom enshrined in the Constitution, but there will be no tolerance for forcing people to convert with the lure of money or other things.
Dominic D'Souza, a pastor operating in North Goa's Saligao, about 20 km from the capital Panaji, and his wife Joan were arrested on Thursday after two people filed separate complaints, a police official said. In these complaints, it was alleged that both were involved in conversion. The official had said that the pastor and his wife were allegedly motivating people to convert to Christianity by offering money or luring them to get treatment for the disease.
Sawant said that earlier also the cases of forced conversions allegedly by D'Souza had come to the notice of the police. He said a case was also registered against the pastor in connection with the death of a man, to whom he allegedly applied "miraculous oil". Sawant said that action has been taken against the priest as per law and the investigation will continue. The police have also booked the priest and his wife under sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and indulging in willful and malicious acts with intent to outrage religious sentiments, besides drugs and miracles. A case has been registered under the provisions of the Remedy (Objectionable Advertisement) Act.