On Sunday afternoon, Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV) workers and police reached the house of a Christian couple following reports that about 100 women from nearby villages were attending prayers organized by the duo. Most of the women, who were wearing the cross, escaped after seeing police and HYV workers.
Reports said Jaswant Masih, a teacher and resident of Rasda in Ballia, and his wife Suman had taken a house on rent at Pipra Nazir ward in Salempur. Every Sunday, the couple organizes prayer in the house which is attended by a large number of people.
Police detained Masih couple, house owner's son Sudhir Singh and two women. But they were released after interrogation. Police found books on Christianity from the house. The detained persons told police that they have been coming for prayers every Sunday for past 21 years.
Israwati, a local, said: "We have been attending the prayers for past five years. The couple tell us that that Prabhu Yeeshu will take away our poverty and diseases. It has had a positive impact as my health has improved."
Bible in Bhojpuri language was also recovered from the spot.
Jaswant Masih denied any incident of conversion. "We just pray in front of the picture of Jesus Christ. There is no truth in allegations made by the Hindu hardliners," he said.
A leader of HYV said: "Christian missionaries are trying to convert locals to Christianity. They target the weakest and poorest sections of the society. Jaswant is trying to influence people and promoting Christianity in the region since long."
VHP and HYV activists have demanded action against such people.
Police, too, denied any incident of conversion. "A Christian family has been organising prayers for past many years and people go there. It is just a matter of faith and nothing else," said inspector Ram Yadav.