Alleging largescale religious conversion of tribals in areas located on the Indo-Nepal border by Christian missionaries, Hindu Yuva Vahini — led by Gorakhpur BJP MP Yogi Adityanath — has announced that it will develop such villages and also ensure that its volunteers stay there at night to thwart any move by missionaries.
HYV maintained that these tribals live in sensitive areas and changing the religious profile of the region — from Hinduism to Christianity — will pose a threat to national security.
Yogi, meanwhile, is holding meetings with tribals and cautioning the missionaries that no religious conversion will be tolerated in the region. The last such meeting was held on April 19 at Pachpedwa area in Balrampur district.
However, refuting HYV’s claims. Gorakhpur Divisional Commissioner R K Ojha said: “They are creating unnecessary tension. We personally visit the areas and meet the tribals. They are are aware of their rights and avail government benefits. In fact, in these areas, there is no presence of Christian missionaries.” But state HYV president Sunil Singh claimed: “We have confirmed reports that Christian missionaries are engaged in religious conversion of tribals — mainly in Tharu, Vantangiya and Musahar communities in districts bordering Nepal. It will not be tolerated and our volunteers will be in touch with tribals to prevent such designs.”
The districts under HYV’s radar include Bahraich, Shrawasti, Balrampur, Siddharth Nagar and Maharajganj where members of majority community Tharu live in forests located at the border. While the Vantangiya community has majority in Gorakhpur and Maharajganj, Musahars are predominant in Kushinagar.
Singh claimed that since these tribals act like nomadic tribes, it is tough for the government to locate them. “If we do not act on time, we will be faced with a grim situation where Christians will be living on our border areas,” he said.
“These are innocent people and no one is bothered about them as their names don’t figure in voter list. They don’t have ration card and avail no government welfare schemes like Indira Awas and old age pension,” he added.
“We will set up schools for tribals where our volunteers will teach and encourage them to join the mainstream. Formalities like registration in voters’ list and other government documents will be taken care of by our volunteers. We will not allow Christian missionaries to fleece them anymore,” Sunil claimed.
The HYV has also decided to approach both state and central governments to ensure that the tribals get their due rights.
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