11/04/2017 2:56 PM IST | Updated 11/04/2017 3:19 PM IST

RSS Claims That 53 Families 'Returned' To Hinduism In Its 'Christianity-Free' Campaign In Jharkhand

“We want a Christianity-free block."

Jayanta Shaw / Reuters

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) workers have claimed that they recently re-converted 53 families to Hinduism as part of its "Christianity-free"campaign in the Arki block of Khunti district in Jharkhand.

RSS workers said that 53 families in five tribal-dominated villages "returned to Hindu fold" in March, Hindustan Timesreported on Monday, and the "ghar wapsi" campaign will continue through April.

RSS' Saiyojak Laxman Singh Munda, who is also deputy president of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Khunti district, told HT that Christian missionaries had lured the tribals. "You cannot call it conversion. We are only bringing our lost brothers and sisters back to their religion," he told the newspaper. "We want a Christianity-free block. The villagers will soon return to their roots."

Last year, Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das had warned against religious conversion. Das claimed that those involved in conversions of tribals were inciting the protest against the state's bid to amend the Chhotanagpur Tenancy Act (CNTA) and the Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act (SPTA).

Gharwapsi, a reconversion drive carried out by right-wing groups, has gained momentum since the BJP-led government came to power at the Centre in May, 2014.

Last week, at least seven Christian families, who underwent a purification ceremony in Kochasindhri village, had their foreheads smeared with Sandalwood paste and their feet washed by Hindu priests, HT reported.

Also on HuffPost India:

Photo gallery Lucknow's First Pride Parade See Gallery