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GANGTOK, SIKKIM, April 16, 2001: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad's international general secretary, Pravin Togadia, claimed that about 33,000 people had been converted to Christianity in Sikkim in the last 25 years. "Sikkim had only a few Christians 25 years ago, but now their number has crossed 33,000. The churches are targeting Hindus and Buddhists for conversion," Togadia said in Gangtok. He said the figure of 33,000 was based on computations made by 47 VHP preachers touring villages in the state to caution people against conversions. Togadia said the release of the government census figures would confirm the VHP count.