A day after reports of conversion of 100 Dalit families of Bhagana village in Hisar to Islam at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, the district administration on Monday got a head count done to ascertain the truth of the matter and claimed that around 50 people belonging to Dalit families have converted only.
"We got the head count done and now, we can assure you that only around 50 people changed their religion at Jantar Mantar on Saturday," Hisar deputy commissioner (DC) Chander Shekhar Khare said.
He said said that the situation in the village is normal and many of those who converted have started returning to the village now.
When asked if the conversion bothers him, the DC said, "Everyone has a free will to decide what he or she thinks is good for them. Everyone has a right to choose what they want to. I am not bothered about what religion they want to adopt. For me, the important thing is to maintain the law and order in my district," Khare said.
"Honestly, I fail to understand what their issue is. Since November last, I had five meetings with their leaders. However, it seems they themselves don't know what they want now as all the issues they used to raise have been resolved," he said.
The DC felt that the Dalits were lured by someone to get converted.
Similar concerns were raised by district Bajrang Dal president Kapil Vasant, who along with some Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leaders, on Sunday managed to make villagers issue a diktat that those who converted to Islam would only be accepted in their village if they would revert to the Hindu fold.
"I heard three days before the conversion that some of Dalit leaders, who later got converted, had a meeting with Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari. He prompted them to convert," Vasant alleged while talking to HT.
Meanwhile, one of Dalits who are camping at the back of mini-secretariat here, took a jibe at the DC and said that he was only one of his kind in the country.
"If he thinks he has solved our issues then why are we still languishing here since May 21, 2012? The DC didn't do anything for us except for sending us to jail six-seven times," Dalit protester Dariya Singh said.
Singh said the decision of the Dalit families to convert to Islam was justified and he himself would do so in the coming days.
"For us, there is no point in staying Hindus when we are not considered to be the part of this religion. We are deprived entry into the temples. Hindus discriminate with us on the basis of caste, so what is fun in staying with such a religion," Singh asked.
He said the long struggle for their rights had cost them everything. "We came here along with some animals and left some at home. After sometime we were forced to sell some of them to live here, while some of our animals were sent to dairy farms by the administration. Now our situation is that we have nothing left with us," he added.