Hooligans gatecrash into central Indian town church. By Pervez Bari
17 Jun 2006
BHOPAL (India), June 15: The temerity of the Hindutv forces in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh to subjugate Christians and instill a fear of terror in them was on parade once again in Jabalpur, a major town of the state, today.
The incident occurred while a two-member team of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) is already on a visit to the State, camping here at Bhopal enquiring about the increasing attacks on minorities in the State with special reference to Christians. The NCM team, which would be visiting Jabalpur tomorrow morning as per its schedule, has been sent on the initiative of the Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh.
The incident occurred when a group of anti-socials led by Yogesh Agrawal gate-crashed into St. John Lutheran Church at Jabalpur as the church was conducting a three-day Bible workshop for its believers from today.
According to a Press release issued by Fr. Anand Muttungal, PRO & spokesperson for the catholic church, MP, as soon as the programme started under the Gorakhpur Police station area police reached the venue for the spot enquiry and the details of the participants. Pastor Vijay Sethi of the church explained, "the programme was a training programme for the believers on Bible and Christian living, it has nothing to do with conversion and baptism." The programme is being attended by around 27 participants from different parts of Jabalpur.
The police took the Christians to police station along with the anti-socials. The Jabalpur Superintendent of Police Shrinivas Rao said, "the police have registered no case against anybody so far. After recording the statements all Christians have been set free."
A Dharma Raksha Sena leader said, "It is and attempt to convert Hindus into Christianity and we object any sort of forced conversion."
Fr. Muttungal called the incident as a chain in the series of attacks being conducted on Christians and their worship places all over Madhya Pradesh. He pointed out that it was just yesterday the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had claimed that all communities will be protected. However, even before his statement died down the hooligans at Jabalpur took law into their hands. "What should we understand from this?", he wondered.
It looks that the law and order of the Madhya Pradesh Government is decided by the anti-social elements in Jabalpur. The local administration has not taken action against the anti-social elements, the release said.