Bhagalpur: Five poor Hindus, including three women, reportedly converted to Christianity at Barohiya village in this Bihar district, but later said they had gone to attend a prayer meeting in a church.
Headman of Kishandas Panchayat Nishikant Mandal and former CPI MLA Ambika Prasad, who resides in the same village, told visiting reporters today that the five persons claimed they embraced Christianity yesterday for better life.
While the two men were taken to a church in Naugachiachak yesterday to complete formality of conversion, the three women were converted in a makeshift church at the house of one of the converted male, they said.
They were given a copy of Bible and a book on rules of Christianity, they said.
The former MLA said that the five persons told villagers that conversion has its root in the belief that it helped them getting rid of some health problems they were suffering from.
The five persons were Basudeo Mandal, Radhe Mandal, Sunita Devi, Lalita Devi and Pabo Devi. Husbands of the three women did not embrace Christianity, he said.
However, they later told Additional Superintendent of Police Neeraj Kumar Singh, who visited Barohiya because of tension there, that they only took part in a prayer meeting and did not embrace Christianity.
The ASP, when contacted by PTI, said they told him that they had been suffering from some health problems for a while. Some people suggested to them to follow certain Christian practices as remedial measures which they did and felt better.
So they had gone to attend a prayer meeting only as a thanks giving gesture, Singh said, adding the five have given him this version in writing.