The Opposition BJP has once again increased its offensive against an alleged “terror” of religious conversion in Bastar and other tribal areas of predominantly tribal Chhattisgarh. Party chief Arun Sao accused Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel of keeping mum over what he called an illegal conversion racket spreading to urban areas.
“The manner in which the people who convert are resorting to violence in Chhattisgarh is extremely worrying and unfortunate and the religious conversion is going on openly in the state under the protection of the state government,” Sao claimed.
The BJP state president said that the way the converts have attacked the tribal society and the police in village Bhejripadar under Parpa police station of Bastar shows that they are out to disturb peace and law and order in the state. All this is going on under the protection of the state government, he alleged.
In a no-hold-barred attack on CM Baghel, Sao accused him of making undue comments on Hindu saints who had come here to attend a meeting, but turned a deaf ear to the people engaged in illegal conversions and attacking the native tribes and the police.
Sao warned that if the groups engaged in religious conversion are not thrown out of the state and action taken against them, the BJP will resort to democratic protests at all levels and the Congress government will be responsible for it.
The saffron party, meanwhile, constituted an inquiry committee to probe the incident that took place in Bhejripadar. This six-member inquiry committee will visit the violence affected areas soon to investigate the incident and hand over its inquiry report to the party.
Former minister Nankiram Kanwar, former MP Dinesh Kashyap, former state General Secretary Kiran Dev, former MLA Baiduram Kashyap, former MLA Rajaram Todem and BJP leader Shivnarayan Pandey have been included in the committee.
Clashes between the neo-converts and the mainstream tribals broke out in Bhejripadar yesterday over cremation of an elderly neo-converted woman. Villagers insisted that her last rites could be performed in the village only if the family reconverts to traditional tribal belief.