Since mid-May over 50 villages in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region have followed the advice of the Hindu nationalist VHP and used the Chhattisgarh Panchayat Raj Act to ban all non-Hindu religious practice. Christian leaders note these rulings are contrary to the Indian Constitution, but the VHP has said it will lobby the authorities to ensure the bans are imposed. Persecution has escalated, with numerous reports of violence and social boycotts whereby Christians are being denied access to water and food rations. The Chhattisgarh Christian Forum has requested that the Panchayat Raj Act (which facilitates rural self-government) be scrapped and is threatening to take the authorities to court if they do not act. They fear that persecution could escalate.