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Christian missionaries arrested in Chhattisgarh

india Updated: Dec 25, 2006 15:44 IST

As many as 11 Christian missionaries have been arrested in Chhattisgarh for allegedly bribing poor Hindus to embrace Christianity, police said on Monday.

The incident took place on Sunday night in Jalampur area of Dhamtari town, 80 km south of capital Raipur.

"The missionaries were caught bribing poor Hindus in a slum colony to convert to Christianity," Bharat Singh, the police superintendent Dhamtari district, said over telephone. "They were promising people economic help and jobs in exchange for conversion."

Chhattisgarh's Bharatiya Janata Party government passed an anti-religious conversion legislation in the assembly in August that provides for a three-year jail term and fine of Rs 20,000 for those involved in religious conversion by force or allurement.

The arrests, on the eve of Christmas, led to communal tension in Dhamtari town with the Bajrang Dal, Dharm Sena and Shiv Sena holding a demonstration on Monday against the alleged conversions.

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