Some civil rights groups have claimed that about 1,000 Christian tribals in Chhattisgarh were subjected to violence over their religion and some of them were forcibly converted to Hinduism.
The Centre for Study of Society and Secularism in partnership with All India Peoples Forum, All India Lawyers Association for Justice and United Christian Forum constituted a fact-finding committee which visited the state.
Irfan Engineer, director of the Centre for Study of Society and Secularism who led the fact-finding committee, claimed that there is an "organised campaign to forcibly convert Christian Adivasis to Hindu religion".
He said the team found that about 1,000 Christian tribals in Chhattisgarh were subjected to violence over their religion.
Between December 9 and December 18, there were a series of attacks in about 18 villages in Narayanpur and 15 villages in Kondagaon displacing about 1,000 Christian Adivasis from their villages, he said at a press conference here.
"Those displaced were threatened to denounce their Christian faith and convert to Hindu religion failing which they would have to leave their village or face dire consequences, even death. Many Christian Adivasis were gravely assaulted and beaten with bamboo canes, tyres, rods, etc. At least two dozen people had to be hospitalised with injuries like fracture of collar bone, wrists, etc," Mr. Engineer claimed.
Adivasis forced to leave their village
He said the Adivasis had to leave their village and seek shelter in the open during this harsh winter season.
"A few were forcibly converted to Hinduism," he alleged.
He said isolated incidents of violence were being reported since October.
"Since no action was taken, the matter escalated. The situation under which these displaced people are living in refugee camps is pitiable. Especially women are in harrowing conditions with lack of sanitation facilities in these camps," Mr. Engineer said.
He said they will be submitting their fact-finding team's report to the National Human Rights Commission and seek action.
John Dayal, human rights activists, said the government has "weaponised laws" to target Adivasis and called it a "very dangerous precedent".
"The state sponsors such violence, political parties sponsor such violence. This happening so close to Christmas is no coincidence," he said.