Former chief minister Jeetan Ram Manjhi will visit the Naili panchayat in Gaya district on July 25 to persuade the members of his community-Musahars (rat eaters) to return to the Hindu fold. Manjhi was the first CM in India from Maha Dalit community of rat eaters and hails from Gaya.
All members of the three maha Dalit colonies of Dubahal,Wazitpur and Belvadih had swithced over to Christianity a few months back during the Corona crisis. They had claimed priests from Bodh Gaya had come to their villages and blessed them with Holy water (Changai paani) and started weekly prayer meetings in a make shift church at Wajitpur.
Manoj Manjhi, who had converted to Christianity claimed his son and daughter were falling sick frequently. He used to frequent the doctor but to no avail. However, when the priests visited them from Bodh Gaya and sprinkled holy water, they were cured.
Chinta Devi, another new convert said she swtiched over following the evil spell of ghosts on her family.
She claimed she had spent Rs10,000 on getting rid of the ghosts, but the exercise was futile. However, following the reported blessings of the priest from the Church, the spell vanished. Pooran Manjhi, a local community priest said village women don’t apply vermillion on foreheads when they attend the church prayers.
As per him, over 250 families have been converted.
Circle Officer of Gaya had visited the villages to investigate reports of large scale conversions and after talking to the villagers claimed none were forced conversions.
A team of Vishwa Hindu Parishad led by Premnath Teliya visited the Naili panchayat and distributed copies of Hanuman Chalisa to the new converts. On Wednesday, they distributed Hanuman lockets to women and requested them to return to Hindu religion. They also asked them to remove the Cross symbols from their doors.