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AGARTALA, INDIA, January 28, 2001: The Baptist Church authorities in Khumlung have allegedly made it incumbent upon Hindu tribal students in a school near the headquarters of the autonomous district council to attend regular prayer sessions in a nearby church. Now the growing religious conflict between the National Liberation Front of Tripura and the Hindu resistance groups over the issue of a forced conversion drive by militants has taken a new turn. The NLFT is backed by the Church. The guardian of a student of the residential school said on condition of anonymity that his son and other students of the school were being "virtually forced" to attend prayer sessions. He said, "We tribals have our traditional religious faiths and practices akin to Hinduism and it is unfair on the part of school authorities to force underaged children to attend church." Sources at Khumlung, described the allegation as "completely false and malicious."