The villagers in the Dahanu area of the Palghar district foiled an attempt of four Christian missionaries to convert the tribals to Christianity by luring them with money. The missionaries told the tribals that they will get relief from their pains if they convert to Christianity. The Dahanu police then arrested the four Christian missionaries on Friday, 5th August 2022.
The incident took place in the Sarawli Talawpada village of the Dahanu taluka of the Palghar district on Friday afternoon when four Christian missionaries entered the house of an old tribal woman spotting her alone at her home. They lured her with money to convert to Christianity. The missionaries asked her to stop practicing her faith and accept Christianity so that she would get relief from her ailments. According to a report by Loksatta, they offered her money and tried to force her into religious conversion.
As the local villagers and the members of Hindu organizations came to know that the missionaries have come to the village, they quickly gathered in large numbers and took those missionaries and the old woman to the local police station. On the basis of the complaint lodged by the old tribal woman, the Dahanu police registered an FIR and imposed sections 153, 295, 448, and 34 of the Indian Penal Code. The Dahanu police arrested all the four Christian missionaries who are identified as Claimant D Baila, Mariam T Philips, Paramjit alias Pinki Sharma Kaur, and Parashuram Dharma Dhingada.
In the remote tribal-dominated talukas Dahanu, Talasari, Jawar, and Vikramgad in the Palghar district, conversion practices have been going on for many years. The poorly educated tribals of this area are being converted by taking advantage of their ignorance as well as by various allurements. As a result, in many places, there have been frequent disputes between Hindu tribals and converted Christian tribals over the celebration of festivals and other practices.