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`Conversion, infiltration problems in North-East'

By Our Staff Reporter

KOZHIKODE, FEB. 26. A seven-member team from North-East has listed religious conversion, infiltration from Bangladesh and militancy as the main problems confronting the people there.

The delegation is here (from February 21 to 29) as part of a nation-wide tour programme of social workers from North-East. The tour is being organised by the Akhil Bharatiya Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram.

Talking to presspersons here today, Rakhi Tana Tara from Arunachal Pradesh said the problems facing North-East were not regional but national. ``Organised Christian groups are undertaking conversions there. Right-minded Christians here (in Kerala) should denounce these elements. They wanted to destroy the social fabric of Indian culture,'' he said.

Asked whether the tribals in North-East were satisfied with their own social system, he said it would take time to achieve progress in every society. ``But it should not be imposed or dictated, like in North-East,'' he said.

The delegation observed that public support for insurgency was coming down in the region. ``Now, owing to unabated infiltration from Bangladesh, the Muslim population has risen by 30 per cent in Assam. They have not limited themselves to Assam, they are found even in tribal majority hill States, where they marry our tribal girls and convert them and their offspring to Islam. A sizeable `tribal Muslim' population can be seen in these States. Even Christian tribal girls are being converted to Islam. The whole of North-East has become a `religious battlefield,''' the delegation said.

The delegation said that peace could be re-established there only if there was a sense of coexistence among the people, and this could be guaranteed only by the `traditional Eternal Janajati Faith and Culture'.

They said that Hindus are Nature worshipers and so too are the tribals. ``So we are actually `Sanadhani' (those who follow the Sanadhana Dharma).''

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