Bhubaneswar, Feb 16 (IANS) — At least seven women who converted to Christianity in a village in Orissa said residents of the area forcibly tonsured them and made them reconvert to Hinduism.
The incident took place in the first week of February in Kilpal village in the coastal district of Jagatsinghpur, about 80 km from here. It came to light only Sunday when the victims visited Bhubaneswar and spoke to media persons
Christian leaders brought the women from the village. The women complained to the police and cases have been registered against 35 villagers.
One of the seven, Nisha Samal, said: “The other villagers warned us that if we did not reconvert, we would face dire consequences. They forcibly tonsured us.”
Police inspector S.C. Routray told IANS that about 10 years ago a resident of Kilpal, Subash Samal, a member of the underprivileged Dalit community, converted to Christianity.
He then persuaded eight Dalit families to also convert.
Other villagers took umbrage to this and decided to force them to reconvert.
Kilpal has a population of about 500 and around 200 are Dalits. The seven women said that initially the police refused to record their complaints.
Subash Chouhan, a leader of the Hindu radical group Bajrang Dal, said the incident proved that Christians were converting poor Hindus to their religion “through various inducements”.
This item was published on Feb. 16, 2004, by Indo-Asian News Service, a New Delhi-headquartered media group.