Ship docked in Mumbai ‘invites Hindus to convert to Islam’

via published on November 11, 2010

Mumbai: A Kuwaiti flagship vessel docked at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) has come under the scanner of security agencies after some members of the crew were allegedly found distributing a 12-page pamphlet named Nimantran Patra, underlying words “inviting people practising Hinduism to a better religion called Islam”.

The vessel, CGM Everest, steered by a Pakistani captain, Sayed Hader, had travelled from Karachi Port. It had been allowed to leave JN Port and it had set sail, but it was then asked to return to port. IG (Konkan region) Parambir Singh said the ship has been detained.

The pamphlet is from the Islamic Dawa and Guidance Centre, based in Kuwait. The crew of 33 includes an Egyptian engineer, Karim Rehman, and two Pakistanis apart from the captain.

The incident, according to senior security officials, is the first reported instance in India where a vessel travelling in international waters has been used for religious propaganda. Certain crew members allegedly distributed the pamphlets among port labourers and provisions supply agents who had access to the ship. “They were not coming on shore but were distributing the pamphlets to Indians entering their ship,” an officer in Navi Mumbai said.

Officials have noted the “target audience” for the conversion pamphlets were specifically Indians as all 12 pages were written in chaste Hindi, along with a covering letter.

A police officer in New Mumbai said, “This is a significant. Nowhere in India have we noted any such propaganda through an air carrier or ship. This calls for guidelines on regulation if this is indeed being done.”

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