Don’t play with fire, CM tells saffron camp

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Rampurhat
  • Updated: Feb 11, 2015 12:07 IST

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee, on Tuesday, threatened BJP and its saffron allies over the alleged forced conversions of tribal Christians in Birbhum.

Days back and barely 18 km away from where the chief minister addressed locals on the day, the VHP, saffron parent of the BJP, had pitched camp for alleged conversions of locals across tribal households.

Speaking at a rally at Rampurhat College ground on Tuesday, the chief minister said, “They (locals who underwent the conversion ritual) lodged a complaint with the local police station claiming they’re forcefully converted. We’ll not allow this in our state. I warn them (saffron forces) not to play politics of religion.”

“I’ve never indulged in this brand of politics and wouldn’t allow anyone either. Anyone trying to foment religious intolerance or playing communal politics would be dealt with sternly. We wouldn’t take this lying down,” the chief minister said.

“People, across caste, creed and religion, are welcome to inhabit our land. They (saffron leaders) have been going around preaching the politics of hatred. But, we believe in inclusiveness and communal harmony. We belong in a secular republic where people across the religious spectrum have the right live in peace,” Banerjee said.

“To all those trying to divide people on the basis of religion, I say don’t play with fire. If you do, you’ll end up burning your fingers. This ploy wouldn’t work in Bengal,” the chief minister said.

More than 150 tribal Christians allegedly underwent the shuddhikaran (conversion) ritual at the nearby Khormadanga village on January 28.

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