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Bandh Observed in Bastar; Security Beefed Up

BASTAR: A bandh was observed in Bastar today in view of the rampant conversions to Christianity the tribals claimed of. The bandh on Thursday was called by Sarva Adivasi Samajh. The district witnessed heightened security at sensitive points. The Bastar Chamber of Commerce was also shut down. All shops in the district were instructed to remain closed until 3 pm today in support of the bandh.

Bastar IG and Collector have appealed to the residents to maintain the law and order. On the same note, a bandh is called by the tribal community in Jagdalpur.

Earlier on Wednesday, a fact-finding team that was constituted by the BJP to probe the protests was detained by the police. The team while on its way was stopped by a group of protestors following which the BJP leaders staged a Dharna and were later detained by the police.

The CG police arrested 5 including a BJP leader, in connection with the vandalism of a church in the Narayanpur district. A case has been filed against the accused under sections 153 (a) (Promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion), 295 (Injuring or defiling a place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class), 147( punishment for rioting), 148 (armed with a deadly weapon) 149 (unlawful assembly guilty of an offense committed in prosecution of common object) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). 

On December 31, 2022, members of tribal communities carried out protest rallies against the alleged religious conversions, following which clashes took place between the tribal groups and Christian tribals. A senior police officer was also injured in the protests.

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