01/30/2015, 00.00
INDIA
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West Bengal, two radical Hindu leaders reported over "reconversion" of Christians and Muslims

Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of the Indian state, demands investigation of Praveen Togadia, president of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and its secretary general. The militants have forced dozens of tribal families (12 Christian and Muslim 7) to convert to Hinduism, with yet another "coming home".

Calcutta (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Police in West Bengal are investigating Praveen Togadia, national president of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP, Hindu radical group), for "inciting hatred". The police have accepted a second complaint against Jugal Kishore, general secretary of the VHP, accused of "inciting hatred and use of force on tribal people". The investigations started yesterday on the orders of Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of the state, after yet another case of "coming home" ghar wapsi (reconversion to Hinduism).

The "homecoming" ceremony as the Hindu radicals call it, took place on January 28 in the tribal village of Rampurhat (Birbhum district). About 17 Christian and two Muslim families have been "reconverted" to Hinduism, through shuddhi havan (purification) and other rituals. Togadia and other VHP leaders attended the event. However, two young tribal present in the program have decided to press charges.

After the news spread, other cases of ghar wapsi conducted in recent weeks emerged, along the border between West Bengal and Jharkhand.

They include a new complaint filed by the missionaries of the Society Don Bosco operating at Baropahari (Jharkhand). According to Fr. Agapit Minj, at least 15 Christian families have been "reconverted" by the VHP.

The Church of Don Bosco Baropahari is the only Catholic church to work among the tribal population of the area, scattered in 73 villages. According to the church, at least 164 families have converted to Christianity in the last two years. "We do not baptize people like they do - explains Fr. Minj to Indian Express - we invite them to start coming to church, and to send their children to school and hostels. If people are spiritually and mentally convinced to embrace Christianity, then we baptize them".

 

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