Christian missionaries accused of assaulting an aged tribal for not converting to Christianity

A 65-year-old tribal man has filed a police case against two Christian missionaries, his daughter and her lover for forcing him to convert to Christianity, Dainik Jagran has reported. This incident has been reported from Bolba region in Jharkhand.

Promptly acting on the complaint by Somaru Manjhi, the police arrested the four accused named Sumanti Kumari, Rupesh Manjhi, Sudarshan Manjhi and Neelam Devi.

As per Ravi Shankar – the Bolba police station chief, the victim accompanied by the panchayat chief and few other individuals had filed a complaint at the police station. Under the complaint, it was alleged that Somaru was heavily pressurised by the accused to convert from Sarnaism to Christianity.

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In order to achieve the goal, the accused supposedly assaulted him at his home. He was then saved by the villagers who later took him to the police station to file a complaint.

It is being reported that Rupesh Manjhi a resident of Hethma fell in love with the victim’s daughter named Sumanti Kumari. A believer in Christianity, he also convinced the daughter to convert. Later the Christian Missionaries named Sudarshan Manjhi and Neelam Devi got involved in the matter and started forcing the victim to convert.

The trouble intensified when the couple wanted to get married in a Christian religious ceremony on 30 May. The father though wanted the marriage to take place under Sarna traditions, and also insisted that he won’t convert to Christianity. Following this, the accused proceeded to beat him up.

As per a Bhaskar report, the four accused were arrested on Wednesday on charges of forced religious conversion. As per the report, this is the first time an arrest has been made in Bolba for religious conversion.

Jharkhand already has an anti-conversion bill which was put in place by the BJP government in 2017. Under this bill, one can be jailed for three to four years and pay a fine ranging between Rs 50,000 and Rs 1 lakh if they convert the religion of a minor, woman or member of the scheduled caste or scheduled tribe.

Soon after the bill’s passage, Christian groups in the state had opposed it by calling it a design to harass the church and missionaries.

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