Around 1,500 members of the Dalit community in Uttar Pradesh's Gautam Nagar locality of Amroha district are allegedly living under a threat of “religious conversion", India Today reported.
According to media reports, sources say shops in the neighbourhood are slowly changing their address to "Islam Nagar" from the pre–Independence name of "Gautam Nagar".
According to Census 2011, about 42 per cent of Amroha's residents are Muslims, while Dalits form nearly 21 per cent of the local population of over 12 lakh. The resident Dalits follows both Hinduism and Buddhism while some Dalits are converted Christians.
Gautam Nagar also has a market that consists of nearly 50 shops. About 20-25 shops now have a new address: Islam Nagar Naugawaan Sadat.
"We even gave a written complaint to the police a few days ago, but no action has been taken so far," said Murari, a native of Gautam Nagar.
"I have been living here since birth, and even the address verification certificates, Aadhaar cards and voter cards have Gautam Nagar mentioned as a domicile address. We are left with no other option but to migrate to another locality or convert," says 70-year-old Pitam.
"Humne unse baat karne ki koshish ki, samjhana chaha… lekin wo ugra ho gaye (We tried to talk to them and tried to convince them that this is wrong, but they got angry)," said local resident Roopchand.
Past many years, the locality has been recognised from the name of Gautam Buddha as Gautamnagar. After the change in religious demography, the Muslim's dominance over Dalits has increased. Dalit-Muslim conflicts after the rise in Muslim population harming the religious harmony of secular India.