Bombay Parsi Punchayet chairman alleged the institute’s head Meher Master-Moos was indulging in ‘wrongful’ conversion, which is reserved for only sons of priests
A group of angry Parsis from Mumbai, including chairman of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP), stormed a religious institute near Sanjan on the Maharashtra-Gujarat border on Friday morning to stop an alleged conversion of a 48-year old Russian into a Zoroastrian priest.
The Zoroastrian College, which is run by Mumbai-based Meher Master-Moos, 67, gets visitors from Tajikistan, Iran and Russia, many of whom go there to do short courses in the Zoroastrian religion. On Friday, however, it was a scene of mayhem after a mob of 45-odd people, including six women, stormed the premises.
Resham Singh, a guard at the institute, said, “Around 45 people came in eight cars at 11.30 am and demanded access to the premises. When I did not open the gate, they forced their way through a smaller entrance. Later, they threw around chairs, destroyed furniture and assaulted staff members.”
Trouble began when news of an alleged conversion ceremony being performed for Russian Mikhail Chispiakov – who is in India on a three-month tourist visa – reached BPP trustee and chairman Dinshaw Mehta, who decided to go to Zoroastrian College and protest against the act along with some other community members from Surat.
“Our religion permits only sons of priests to train for priesthood. Training a Russian to become a Zoroastrian priest is going too far.