Narayanpur / Kondagaon : A civil society report shed light on an organised campaign to convert Christian tribals into Hindus in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur and Kondagaon districts.
After visiting more than 30 villages in the districts where alleged attacks against Christians occurred, a team of civil society representatives claimed in a report released on Monday that there was a “organised campaign” to forcibly convert Christian tribals. State officials, however, disputed that the violence was a result of coerced conversions to a particular religion.
According to a fact-finding team led by Irfan Engineer, director of the Centre for Study of Society and Secularism, and Brijendra Tiwari, convener of the All India People’s Forum, Chhattisgarh, “There was a series of attacks in about 18 villages in Narayanpur district and 15 villages in Kondagaon district from December 9, 2022 to December 18, displacing about 1,000 Christian Adivasis from their own villages.”
The fact-finding team, which also included organisations like the United Christian Forum and the All India Lawyers’ Association for Justice, was established in response to episodes of violence against Christians in the districts of Narayanpur and Kondagaon. The crew met with victims of the violence as well as non-Christian adivasis, such as village chiefs, while visiting relief camps and villages.
According to the report, “the district administration disregarded early indications such as threats and intimidation targeting Christian Adivasis.” Although these intimidations were reported, nothing was done.
The report recommended the setting up of a special investigation team (SIT) under the supervision of the Supreme Court or high court to investigate the offences committed on Christian Adivasis in the villages.
The report will be submitted to the Union government and National Commission for Minorities in the next couple of days, said Ajay Justice Shaw, a Supreme Court lawyer who accompanied the fact-finding team in Chhattisgarh.