Act Against Christian Pastors Holding Hindu Caste Certificates, Ministry Of Social Justice Tells Andhra Social Welfare DeptAndhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy.

The Union Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment has asked the Andhra Pradesh Social Welfare Department to take “appropriate action” against Christian pastors in the State who are holding Scheduled Caste of Other Backward Class certificates.

The development comes on the heels of a Hyderabad-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) petitioning writing to the National Scheduled Caste and Backward Caste commissions to conduct inquiry, and constitute a fact finding committee to probe the matter.

A S Santosh, representing the NGO — Legal Rights Protection Forum (LRPF) — said in his petitions that the pastors, who received one-time honorarium of Rs 5,000 through Disaster Relief Fund in the State, were holding fake certificates.

LRPF said it had also petitioned the Andhra Pradesh Governor to conduct an inquiry, and arrange to cancel the Hindu community certificates of the Christian pastors.

An estimated 80 per cent of Christian converts are from the SCs in Andhra Pradesh. The use of fake caste certificates adversely affects the genuine beneficiaries the lower caste who are targeted for the special benefits.

In particular, the LRPF said that when a separate category of Backward Classes — C (SC converts to Christianity) had been created as part of Other BC reservations, those holding the fake certificates enjoy dual benefits.

This acts as direct incentives for conversion from SC status to Christianity, the NGO claimed.

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