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200 Mahadalits convert to Christianity in Bihar, probe ordered

200 Mahadalits convert to Christianity in Bihar, probe ordered

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi Thursday ordered a probe into the conversion of 40 Mahadalit families comprising 200 people to Christianity in his home district of Gaya.

All those converted are residents of Atia village near Bodh Gaya, the birth place of Buddhism as Lord Buddha attained enlightenment there.

"Though some families of Mahadalits of Atia village had conveted to Christianity from 2008 onwards, but remaining 40 to 50 families converted Thursday," a district official said.

Manjhi, who is himself a Mahadalit, incidentally was on a visit in Gaya when reports of the mass conversion were brought to his notice. He said that he has asked district officials to investigate into the matter to ascertain wheather they have converted on their own or due to pressure and allurement.

"There is nothing wrong if any one convert to another religion as per his desire. But if any force, pressure and allurement were used for it, that is wrong and illegal," he said.

According to officials, those converted to Christianity have told an official team, which visited the village, that they had changed their religion for a better life of honour and dignity.

Only a week ago, over half a dozen Hindus had converted to Christianity in Bhagalpur district but recanted after they were threatened with social boycott.

Right-wing Hindu organisations have alleged that Christian missionaries allured them to convert by promising them money and said they will protest against Hindus being converted to Christianity by allurement.

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