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Family ostracised for converting to Christianity in Bihar

Several Hindu organizations have reached Shahpur village in Bihar’s Gaya and are allegedly trying to coerce the family to convert back to Hinduism.

india Updated: Jun 06, 2019 07:57 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Patna
Bihar Dalit family,social boycott,conversion to Christianity
A caste panchayat of Shahpur village in Bihar’s Gaya district has ordered the social boycott of a Dalit family that has converted to Christianity, a family member has claimed.(Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)

A caste panchayat of Shahpur village in Bihar’s Gaya district has ordered the social boycott of a Dalit family that has converted to Christianity, a family member has claimed.

Sanjay Manjhi, 46, said he and his family members had voluntarily converted to Christianity exercising their right to practice a religion of their choice.

“We have been barred from using water from the village well and hand pump. The villagers have also disrupted power supply to our house despite intervention by the police,” Manjhi said.

Manjhi has filed a complaint at Dobhi police station against eight persons who, he alleged, were responsible for harassing him. On Tuesday, a police team reached the village on orders from Gaya senior superintendent of police (SSP) Rajiv Mishra and held a meeting with villagers to work out an amicable settlement.

A villager, Rajkumar, said, “The decision to boycott Sanjay’s family was unanimously taken by villagers.”

Bajrang Dal leaders, alleged to be behind the social boycott, have justified the action. “It is not a matter of caste, it’s a matter of Hindu religion. It was imperative to tell them that if they wished to live in the village, they have to return to their religion — Hinduism,” said a Bajrang Dal activist who did not wish to be quoted.

“The local police has been told to send a team to the village to instil a sense of confidence among the residents,” SSP Mishra said.

First Published: Jun 06, 2019 00:02 IST