A day after Hindu organisations charged Christian missionaries with affecting religious conversions and objected to a Bible-reading programmme involving 50 families of Khanak village in Bhiwani district, the former on Monday decided to call a panchayat and make villagers return to the Hindu fold.
Some residents of Khanak village, 30 km from Bhiwani district headquarters, had called members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Sunday to stop a Bible reading programme being conducted by nearly 50 families in the village.
Senior VHP leader Rajinder Phogat, who reached the spot, told HT that 100 families have been converted to Christianity by a group headed by Rajender Shishwala, who himself is a preacher (pastor). On Sunday, they were administering Bible verses to underprivileged families of Khanak village and promising them inducements, he claimed.
"We objected to it and contacted pastor Rajender Shishwala who feigned ignorance over the conversion issue but agreed that they did preach the philosophy of Bible," Phogat said.
Meanwhile, a panchayat would be called to persuade the families to return to the Hindu fold. Phogat added that a police team would quiz families in a related case.
Rajender Shishwala, who is a mason by profession in Hisar district, said he was associated with Christianity by a radio channel, The Voice of Asia, and after hearing miracles that happened with people on air, he was inspired to lead a purposeful life.
Shishwala said he was not associated with any Church or Christian organisation to spread their word but with a motive to help people shun drugs and alcohol he had been meeting families for holding Bible prayers.
Meanwhile, the Bhiwani police said they were not in the know of the issue and had not received any complaint against anybody in this regard.