Conversion bid by armed men resented CORRESPONDENT SILCHAR, June 22 – Bhuvan Pahar, one of the most holy places in south Assam, particularly in Barak Valley, 38 km from Silchar town, has come under the threat of miscreants. Gun-totting members of a newly formed militant group, named Manmasi National Christian Army, comprising 15 rebels, has been forcing the residents of Bhuban Pahar under the threat of gun to convert to Christianity.
This information was forwarded to Sonai Police which along with the 5th Assam Rifles conducted a search operation which led to the arrest of 13 miscreants, including their commander-in-chief. Two SBBL guns and a country-made pistol along with sufficient quantity of ammunition were seized from their possession. All the miscreants were handed over to Sonai Police for further investigation.
This group of miscreants, dressed in black with a red cross on their back, along with arms, enter from Tipaimukh through Barak river by boat and mount Bhuvan Pahar. They threatened and asked the Hindu people of Tezpur village, including the priest of this famous Hindu temple, to convert into Christianity.
The problem there began when some Hmar miscreants stated themselves to be members of Manmasi National Christian Army and had started putting pressure on the Hindu residents of Bhuvan Pahar to become Christians. The local residents also said that Manmasi National Christian Army cadres had painted cross symbol on the walls of the temples with their blood.
Sources said, the pressure from the Hmar militants began at least two months back when the Congress, led by Lalthanhwala, acquired power in the neighboring State of Mizoram.
At least seven to eight Hmar youths were frequently visiting Bhuvan Pahar, which had nearly 700 Hindu people as well as eight Hindu temples. These Hmar youths approached with gun in one hand and the Bible in the other.
Sources said that the Hmar youths had a meeting with the villagers in Tezpur village on the Bhuvan Pahar and distributed Bible among the villagers. They had even built up a church in Tezpur village.
Meanwhile, Rajkumar, priest of Naga mandir on Bhuvan Pahar, told VHP members that he was forced by the Hmars to show them the tracks on the Pahar at gunpoint. Further, the Hmars posted a flag, a tabloid and a Holy Cross on the wall of one of the temples bearing date May 29, 2009.
VHP leaders were shown the video footage containing the Hindu temples which had blood-stained Holy Cross symbol. A local resident of the area said that pilgrims from various parts of the country had been visiting Bhuvan Pahar since 1816, but now Christians were forcing the Hindus to convert. These Hmar youths come from Mizoram and they have powerful patrons behind them. The VHP had asked the administration to arrange for security of the Hindu temples, priests as well as the Hindu residents there.