Indore: Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Renuka Singh said that anti-socials are misguiding tribals and converting them by taking advantage of their poverty and ignorance.
“Anti-socials, backed by foreign funding, are luring ‘Hindu’ tribals in name of good education and better health services for conversion, which is sad and hurtful. Tribals are Hindus but confusion has been created at many places,” she told media during her visit to Indore on Saturday.
She said that there is no law to stop religious conversion using allurement.
“On getting complaints, we are reaching out to such people and taking care of them and their right to follow the religion they belong to,” she said.
In an apparent reference to tribals who had converted to Christianity and continue to get benefits of reservation, Singh said that "double benefits" being reaped by some was causing anger among a large section of the community. However, Dalits who convert to Christianity do not get benefits of caste-based reservations.
Replying a query, the minister said that at present, there is no need for a review of caste-based reservation system as people require it.
“The matter related to Ajit Jogi’s (Chhattisgarh’s former chief minister) caste is very controversial and everything depends on the court’s decision. I can only say that he is not a tribal,” she added.
Speaking on development works carried out by her ministry, Singh said 60,000 'Van Dhan Vikas Kendras' would be opened, each at a cost of Rs 46 lakh, to market forest produce gathered by tribals. The minister added that 600 sites had been earmarked for these centres.