In Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur district, the ongoing conflict between tribal and tribal Christian society has increased further. On the first day of the year in Narayanpur, there was a lot of tension between the two sides. The tension between the two sides increased so much over the matter of alleged conversion that dozens of people from both the sides were injured. During this, there was also a clash with the policemen, in which Edka station in-charge Bhuneshwar Joshi was injured.
Let us tell you that the people of the tribal community who converted to religion have alleged that on December 18, they were allegedly thrown out of their homes by the villagers and told to “never come back”.
The station in-charge injured during the clash on January 1 has been referred to Jagdalpur after first aid at Narayanpur Hospital. Due to this incident there is a lot of tension in different parts of Narayanpur.
What is the whole matter?
In Narayanpur, an area with heavy presence of Maoists, tribal communities are at loggerheads over religious conversion. The tribals who were evicted from their homes had reached Narayanpur district headquarters on 19 December to meet the district collector. The administration then made arrangements for the families to stay at an indoor stadium in Narayanpur. After 10 days, when some people returned to their villages, they are facing protests. At the same time, about 80 people are still forced to live in the shelter.
“Because we go to church, we were thrown out of our own homes,” said 17-year-old Mohanty Salami, a resident of Boravand village in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur district.
200 tribal Christians were forced to leave their homes in December
This is not the first incident when people have been forced to leave their homes. According to Arun Pannalal, president of the Christian Community Forum in Chhattisgarh, in the month of December alone, around 200 tribal Christians from 14 villages have been evicted from their homes.
Worse, according to him and other activists and community leaders, is the silence of the Bhupesh Baghel-led Congress government on such incidents.
“Christians are being attacked in broad daylight – and there is no action from the government. Nearly 200 are locked up in the Narayanpur district headquarters. They are forced to flee with their children and families after receiving death threats. The persecution of minorities is at its peak in Chhattisgarh.”Arun Pannalal
Pannalal said that atrocities against Christians have become more prevalent than ever in Chhattisgarh, but there has been no condemnation by the government.
“Last year, one of our priests was attacked inside a police station in the state capital Raipur and since then there have been many incidents of atrocities against Christians in Chhattisgarh. But the government is silent.”Arun Pannalal
Bastar-based lawyer and human rights activist Bela Bhatia said, “Tribals who have converted to Christianity have been targeted by their own villagers supported by right-wing groups over the past few years. They are being denied access to cemeteries.” – Even humiliated and beaten up. But hardly any action is being taken by the government or administration to stop it.”
‘Police did not register FIR’
Adivasi Christians have also submitted a memorandum to the Narayanpur district administration on Monday, 19 December, inside the indoor stadium, claiming that the police did not register an FIR despite being informed about the alleged violence.
The Quint has a copy of the memorandum. in which it is written, “Incidents of atrocities against tribal Christians are on the rise, and we are not being allowed to cremate our dead… Our homes are being ransacked, our families are being evicted from villages, And the police despite being aware of these incidents are not taking any action against the culprits and instead threatening the families of the victims.”
Speaking to the media, Narayanpur Sub-Divisional Magistrate Jitendra Kurre said: “We have received a memorandum from the people and we are working towards fulfilling their demands and resolving their issues at the earliest.”
However, Hemsagar Sikdar, Additional Superintendent of Police, Narayanpur district, told The Quint that they have received several complaints from villagers and an FIR has also been registered in the matter. The SP said, “We have received several complaints from the villagers and we have already started investigating these matters. Prima facie, most of the incidents happened due to disagreement between the villagers regarding their daily life, which led to the fight. Then we We are processing all the complaints of the evicted villagers and necessary action will be taken against anyone trying to disturb the peace in the area.”
On the other hand, the people of the tribal society allege that those who adopted Christianity have separated themselves from the tribal culture and do not participate in village activities as before.