Swami Aseemanand, orignally from West Bengal, arrived in Dangs two years ago. It was in late 1997 that attacks on Christian institutions began. He set up a series of ashrams and began "reconverting" Christian tribals to Hinduism, a project which he claims is succeeding. Excerpts from an interview:
Why the communal tension in Dangs?
Tribals who had become Christians want to come back to Hinduism and the missionaries are not happy about this. So they are harassing them, trying to stop Hindu prayers and breaking Hindu idols. They have created tension in the area which exploded on December 25 when they stoned a peaceful Hindu procession.
It was the Hindu Jagaran Manch which attacked the churches.
They are simply trying to defame us. Not a single church was destroyed. None of the burnt buildings was listed as a church in the revenue records. That is a fact. Ask the administration.
What is their agenda in your opinion?
It is an international conspiracy to divide India. They...