RAIPUR: In an official circular that may possibly ignite controversy, the Sukma SP has instructed his subordinates and officers in charge of all the police stations in the district to maintain strict surveillance over the activities of the Christian missionaries and the converted tribals.
“The Christian missionaries and the tribal Christians are routinely venturing in internal areas of the district and persuading the non-Christian tribals to get converted by enticing and offering them allurement. Owing to this, the situation resulting into a conflict between the local tribals and those converted (to Christianity) can't be ruled out”, said the official letter issued by Sukma SP Sunil Sharma.
The SP issued a directive to the district police to keep the intelligence network on alert. “Maintain a consistent watch over the activities of Christian missionaries and converted tribals residing in the district and report if any of their acts perceived as suspicious”, stated the circular.
The Sukma SP admitted to The New Indian Express of having sent out the letter to the district police officers.
“The circular is more as preventive in nature rather than prohibitory. Keeping in view some nearby districts where conflicts were reported owing to religious conversions, I intended such a situation shouldn’t arise in Sukma and the social harmony prevails. The police have been asked to gather its own information through their network on religious conversion activities by enticement”, said Sharma and added that all have the right to follow their faiths.
However, the Christian community felt offended by the internal official communication.
“This is totally pre-meditated. The district officials are supposed to protect the Constitutional rights of citizens and not trample them. How could the IPS officer conclude that Christian missionaries are involved in religious conversion without any investigation? Every Indian has the right to move to any place and practise his/her faith. The officer should say if he has the figures on how many tribals been lured to convert, what temptations given, and if any case registered during the past two decades in that area? This is an attempt to create animosity against our religion”, asserted Arun Pannalal, president of Chhattisgarh Christian Forum.
The Christians alleged that the people of their community are repeatedly harassed in the tribal-dominated Bastar.