Jharkhand village ostracizes families that converted to Christianity

The decision was taken after the gram sabha made repeated requests to the families to return back to Sarna Religion, but in vain.
Representational Image. (File Photo)
Representational Image. (File Photo)

RANCHI: The gram sabha at Mangapat Sirsai village under Majhgaon Police Station in West Singhbhum ostracized three tribal families which converted into Christianity in presence of Police.

The decision was taken after the gram sabha made repeated requests to the families to return back to Sarna Religion, but in vain. 

According to a diktat issued by the gram sabha on Friday, the converted families will not be allowed to use common properties of the village. They will also be barred from free movement inside the village, will graze their cattle only on their own land, will not be invited to any social gathering or function, and nobody will interact with them.

A meeting will also be held every Sunday to review whether the villagers are abiding by the proscription imposed by gram sabha or not.

According to the district president of Adivasi Ho Samaj Yuva Mahasabha, Gabbar Singh Hembrom, if anybody is found not abiding by the proscription imposed on the three families, he/she will be imposed fine by the gram sabha.

The decision was taken by a gram sabha, held to take a decision on the issue as it was creating disturbances on several occasions during social and religious occasions.

“Entire population in the village is the followers of Sarna Religion, but Raut Bankira, Rajendra Bankira, and Hiralal Bankira converted into Christianity along with their families on their own about a year ago. Few rounds of meetings were also held earlier requesting them to return back to our religion but they refused to do so. Finally, a meeting was held on Friday where the local police were also present and given last chance for homecoming but they refused again,” said Hembrom. 

Therefore, a decision was taken by the gram sabha that they will not get any kind of co-operation from the villagers and the three families will be treated as outcasts. They were also asked not to put their feet on the land of the villagers, he added.

The village has nearly 200 households with a total population of around 700.

Hembrom alleged that Christian missionaries, which are quite active in the area, have been luring the tribals with land and money to convert them, and hence, they were forced to take this stern action. He, however, said that Adivasi Ho Samaj Yuva Mahasabha and the villagers are still ready to accept them if they shun Christianity and return to Sarna Religion.

District Police asserted the incident, said that a close vigil is being kept on the village to prevent any untoward incident.

“As anybody can practice any religion in this country, both the parties have been warned that strict action will be taken if they tried to take law in their hands,” said SP Ajay Linda. 

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The New Indian Express