Friday, June 27, 2014

Row as Bastar village body bars non-Hindus’ entry

A village body (gram sabha) in Chhattisgarh’s tribal-dominated Bastar district has allegedly adopted a resolution barring entry of non-Hindu people. The resolution, allegedly passed at a special meeting of Sirisguda gram sabha recently, apprehended that entry of other religions would undermine the tribal culture and religion. The village meeting alleged that people of a particular minority community were dissuading locals to resort to local religious practices posing a threat to tribal culture and traditions.

“We have learnt about the resolution from local media and are going to take up the matter with the chief minister Raman Singh for appropriate action,” local Church leader Bhupendra Khora said on Tuesday.

When contacted, additional superintendent of police (ASP) S.R. Salam said, “No such incident has come to our notice. We have only received reports of clashes among some people in the locality”.

Chhattisgarh Christian Forum general secretary Arun Pannanal however alleged that several gram sabhas in Bastar have taken a similar stand as was done by gram sabha of Sirisguda.

“There is no legal sanction for such decisions, but vested interests are trying to push their agenda by using gram sabha as a platform,” he added.

When contacted, a senior officer of Chhattisgarh government told this newspaper that the matter would be probed and appropriate action would be taken to ensure that social harmony is not disturbed in the village.

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