Driven by poverty, over 100 families of primitive tribes have converted to Christianity in Jharkhand’s Gumla district, prompting the VHP to demand a probe into the role of missionaries, sources said on Monday.
Over 100 families belonging to Ghaghra and Visunpur bocks were converted, but the local media put the number at more than 300, administrative sources said.
Asur, one of the nine primitive tribes of Jharkhand, is facing a population decline.
The converted villagers said they took the decision to ensure education for their children. The villages lack basic facilities — roads, electricity, school and health centres.
The Gumla authorities said they would probe the issue.
Dinesh Chandra Mishra, deputy commissioner of Gumla district said, “Some conversions in the district have been reported last week and some cases of conversions are old. We will probe both; all the reported conversions to find out the truth.”
Chandra Mishra said, “People converted by their will or they have been allured will be ascertained only after probe.”
Condemning the religious conversion of the primitive tribes people, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) sought a probe into the Christian missionaries’ role.
Pramod Mishra, the VHP’s Bihar and Jharkhand Dharam Prasar head said, “The role of Christian missionaries should be probed. The primitive tribes whose population is declining in the state has been converted into Christianity under a design.”
“Non-tribal people living in the same area. But why did they not convert on the same reason? The primitives tribes have been allured and converted. The funding of missionaries activities should also be probed,” he added.