PATNA: Eight poor Mahadalits, including a woman, converted to Christianity in a village in Bihar's Munger district, an official said Saturday.
"It is a fact that eight of them converted to Christianity at Ratanpura village under Sangrampur block in Munger, about 180 km from here, a few days back," the official said.
The converts told a team of district officials, who visited the village to probe the case Friday following district magistrate Amrendra Prasad Singh's orders, that they had changed their religion to lead a life of honour and dignity, officials added.
Prakash Manjhi, one of the eight who converted, performed the last rites of his mother as per Christian rituals.
"Manjhi had buried his mother according to Christian rituals last week," said officials.
Manjhi and the others informed the officials that they were inspired by the head of a local mission school and priest Sukhlal Soren.
Singh said over the telephone that Soren had made it clear to him that it was not a conversion.
"Soren has denied conversion and claimed that they have expressed faith in Jesus Christ. But I have asked two officials to inquire into the matter and they are likely to submit their report Saturday," Singh said.
A couple of days back, three of the dozen Hindus who converted to Christianity in two villages in Bhagalpur district returned to the Hindu fold after they were threatened with a social boycott.
Nearly a dozen poor Hindus, including women, were converted to Christianity at Barohiya village and Gangaldeh villages in Bhagalpur district, 200 km from here, early this week.
Three of those who converted to Christianity have returned to Hindu fold at a 'ghar wapasi' (returning home) ceremony by the VHP, a police official said.