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MP: Communal flare up after 10-year-old Muslim boy allegedly turns up at garbha venue

A Hindu teenager objected to the Muslim boy’s presence, and the arguments eventually turned into communal clash; 20 Muslims and 6 Hindus have been named in FIRs

20 Oct 2021

CurfewImage Courtesy:thewire.in

Madhya Pradesh’s tourism department’s  official slogan is “The Heart of Incredible India'', however the ‘heart’ may need investigation as it seems to be infected with communal polarisation. The communal hate, especially against Muslims has been at its peak in Madhya Pradesh this October. Navratri, a season where people come together and celebrate, was marked this year by right-wing groups such as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) putting up posters outside Garba venues saying “entry of non-Hindus is prohibited”.  

Now, it has come to light that the that curfew imposed in Sendhwa city of Madhya Pradesh’s Barwani district, was in fact after the communal clash erupted over the alleged presence of 10-year-old Muslim boy on October 13.  

According to a follow up report in The Wire, Barwani Police said that “a dispute erupted when a Muslim boy was spotted at a garba venue in the Moti Bagh locality. This was objected by a Hindu teenager who had had a previous tiff with the Muslim boy’s family. Heated arguments turned into a brawl which got worse as adults got involved in the fight which saw stone pelting as well.”  Deepak Shukla, Superintendent of Police, Barwani district said, the two “communities came face-to-face and pelted stones at each other, leaving a dozen people injured including women and children.”

It has also been alleged that “over 500 men of the majority Hindu community picketed the Sendhwa Police station demanding an FIR be lodged and arrests be made among Muslims. This mob manhandled a 14-year-old boy, his mother and two of his relatives who had gone to the police station to register a complaint after the minor child sustained a head injury during the stone pelting among two communities.” According to the news report, multiple FIRs have also been registered, one FIR was registered against three for pelting stones at a police convoy, under sections 143, 148, 149, 353, 307 and 327 of the IPC, and an arrest has been made. Two other FIRs were lodged against the Hindu and Muslim communities, under sections – 143, 148, 294, 323 and 506 of the IPC – 20 Muslims and 6 Hindus have been named in these two FIRs. According to the report, so far 22 people have been arrested.

Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), has written to the National Commission for Minorities (NCM), over attacks on Muslims in Madhya Pradesh since August 2021. CJP’s prayer to the apex minority rights body is to conduct a full-fledged investigation into such incidents and also seek information about such attacks under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992. Madhya Pradesh has had a spurt of communal clashes and unrest, especially against the Muslim comunity in the past few weeks. 

Related:

CJP moves NCM over hate crimes against Muslims in Madhya Pradesh
No Garba for non-Hindus: Right-wing in MP
Indore: Police file FIR against Muslim family that was attacked 'for not leaving village' 
MP: Dargah blown up, allegedly by Hindutva mob 
MP: Rain God ritual, a deeper issue than meets the eye
Hate Watch: Muslim bangle seller thrashed, wares looted in Indore
Jashn-e-trolling: What does the festive season mean for bhakts? 
Hate Watch: Street play on "Love Jihad" gets Sudharshan TV excited

MP: Communal flare up after 10-year-old Muslim boy allegedly turns up at garbha venue

A Hindu teenager objected to the Muslim boy’s presence, and the arguments eventually turned into communal clash; 20 Muslims and 6 Hindus have been named in FIRs

CurfewImage Courtesy:thewire.in

Madhya Pradesh’s tourism department’s  official slogan is “The Heart of Incredible India'', however the ‘heart’ may need investigation as it seems to be infected with communal polarisation. The communal hate, especially against Muslims has been at its peak in Madhya Pradesh this October. Navratri, a season where people come together and celebrate, was marked this year by right-wing groups such as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) putting up posters outside Garba venues saying “entry of non-Hindus is prohibited”.  

Now, it has come to light that the that curfew imposed in Sendhwa city of Madhya Pradesh’s Barwani district, was in fact after the communal clash erupted over the alleged presence of 10-year-old Muslim boy on October 13.  

According to a follow up report in The Wire, Barwani Police said that “a dispute erupted when a Muslim boy was spotted at a garba venue in the Moti Bagh locality. This was objected by a Hindu teenager who had had a previous tiff with the Muslim boy’s family. Heated arguments turned into a brawl which got worse as adults got involved in the fight which saw stone pelting as well.”  Deepak Shukla, Superintendent of Police, Barwani district said, the two “communities came face-to-face and pelted stones at each other, leaving a dozen people injured including women and children.”

It has also been alleged that “over 500 men of the majority Hindu community picketed the Sendhwa Police station demanding an FIR be lodged and arrests be made among Muslims. This mob manhandled a 14-year-old boy, his mother and two of his relatives who had gone to the police station to register a complaint after the minor child sustained a head injury during the stone pelting among two communities.” According to the news report, multiple FIRs have also been registered, one FIR was registered against three for pelting stones at a police convoy, under sections 143, 148, 149, 353, 307 and 327 of the IPC, and an arrest has been made. Two other FIRs were lodged against the Hindu and Muslim communities, under sections – 143, 148, 294, 323 and 506 of the IPC – 20 Muslims and 6 Hindus have been named in these two FIRs. According to the report, so far 22 people have been arrested.

Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), has written to the National Commission for Minorities (NCM), over attacks on Muslims in Madhya Pradesh since August 2021. CJP’s prayer to the apex minority rights body is to conduct a full-fledged investigation into such incidents and also seek information about such attacks under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992. Madhya Pradesh has had a spurt of communal clashes and unrest, especially against the Muslim comunity in the past few weeks. 

Related:

CJP moves NCM over hate crimes against Muslims in Madhya Pradesh
No Garba for non-Hindus: Right-wing in MP
Indore: Police file FIR against Muslim family that was attacked 'for not leaving village' 
MP: Dargah blown up, allegedly by Hindutva mob 
MP: Rain God ritual, a deeper issue than meets the eye
Hate Watch: Muslim bangle seller thrashed, wares looted in Indore
Jashn-e-trolling: What does the festive season mean for bhakts? 
Hate Watch: Street play on "Love Jihad" gets Sudharshan TV excited

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K’taka: Right-wing goons forcibly shut down meat shops; vandalise Muslim couple’s chicken shop

The incident took place near Belagavi and the police refused to lodge FIR in the matter forcing the complainant to reach a compromise with the attackers, who continue to harass them even now

20 Oct 2021

communalismRepresentation Image | PTI
 

A Muslim couple’s chicken shop was vandalised in the outskirts of Belagavi city, Karnataka on the same day as a temple opening was scheduled. The incident took place on October 8, however, it came to light only recently after a video went viral. The police, however, refused to register an FIR in the matter and instead effected a “compromise” between them and the attackers, even though the couple insisted on police taking action.

Hasan Sab and his wife Afsana Hasan Sab Khureshi own the shop in Yamunapur which is 6kms from the city of Belagavi. A ring-wing group had demanded that meat shops be closed in the area and accordingly the couple had closed the shop by 11 A.M. However, they had sent someone to clean the shop thereafter. That is when the attackers vandalised the shop and assaulted the workers cleaning the shop as well. “When my husband and I went there after getting to know about this, they threatened us that they would not allow us to live in the town and tried to extort money from us,” Afsana told the Indian Express.

There was no administrative order to keep meat shops shut on that day and merely a threatening demand from the right-wing group.

Afsana said that they had even donated Rs. 2,500 towards the construction of the temple. She added that when they opened the shop again, the goons continued to harass them and tried to extort money from them saying that they would expel us from the village.

When the video went viral, the police were on their toes but only to identify who uploaded the video and not to take action against the attackers.

When Indian Express approached Belagavi Police Commissioner K Thiyagarajan, he said that he was not aware of the incident and if the victims were unable to get justice at the police station, they should have approached higher officials.

Now, complainants injured in hit and run

On Tuesday evening, Hasan Sab was injured in a hit-and-run incident, when they were returning home. According to a report in the Indian Express, his wife Afsana, who was riding pillion, has alleged the accident was “planned”. She told IE, “It was around 7.45 P.M, my husband and I were heading back from Belagavi to Yamanapur on our scooter. A bike with probably two persons came from behind and rammed into our vehicle and fled from the spot. They did not even turn back to look and it all happened in the blink of an eye. My husband Hasan has been injured severely in the incident. With the help of locals, we shifted him to the hospital where he is undergoing treatment.”

What's worse, they had earlier been dissuaded from filing a police report. According to news reports, after their shop had been vandalised Afsana was told by local police that “they had settled the matter and would not intervene in our business and told us that there was no need to file a complaint.” Afsana now feels that this is an attempt is to send them away from the village. "But we have built a life here. This time, I will file a complaint and the bike accident was planned,” she said.

Related:

Meat politics and related jurisprudence in India

Hate Watch: Vigilante groups misuse Navratri as an excuse to spread communal unrest

Mathura: Three arrested after being ‘rescued’ from cow vigilantes 

K’taka: Right-wing goons forcibly shut down meat shops; vandalise Muslim couple’s chicken shop

The incident took place near Belagavi and the police refused to lodge FIR in the matter forcing the complainant to reach a compromise with the attackers, who continue to harass them even now

communalismRepresentation Image | PTI
 

A Muslim couple’s chicken shop was vandalised in the outskirts of Belagavi city, Karnataka on the same day as a temple opening was scheduled. The incident took place on October 8, however, it came to light only recently after a video went viral. The police, however, refused to register an FIR in the matter and instead effected a “compromise” between them and the attackers, even though the couple insisted on police taking action.

Hasan Sab and his wife Afsana Hasan Sab Khureshi own the shop in Yamunapur which is 6kms from the city of Belagavi. A ring-wing group had demanded that meat shops be closed in the area and accordingly the couple had closed the shop by 11 A.M. However, they had sent someone to clean the shop thereafter. That is when the attackers vandalised the shop and assaulted the workers cleaning the shop as well. “When my husband and I went there after getting to know about this, they threatened us that they would not allow us to live in the town and tried to extort money from us,” Afsana told the Indian Express.

There was no administrative order to keep meat shops shut on that day and merely a threatening demand from the right-wing group.

Afsana said that they had even donated Rs. 2,500 towards the construction of the temple. She added that when they opened the shop again, the goons continued to harass them and tried to extort money from them saying that they would expel us from the village.

When the video went viral, the police were on their toes but only to identify who uploaded the video and not to take action against the attackers.

When Indian Express approached Belagavi Police Commissioner K Thiyagarajan, he said that he was not aware of the incident and if the victims were unable to get justice at the police station, they should have approached higher officials.

Now, complainants injured in hit and run

On Tuesday evening, Hasan Sab was injured in a hit-and-run incident, when they were returning home. According to a report in the Indian Express, his wife Afsana, who was riding pillion, has alleged the accident was “planned”. She told IE, “It was around 7.45 P.M, my husband and I were heading back from Belagavi to Yamanapur on our scooter. A bike with probably two persons came from behind and rammed into our vehicle and fled from the spot. They did not even turn back to look and it all happened in the blink of an eye. My husband Hasan has been injured severely in the incident. With the help of locals, we shifted him to the hospital where he is undergoing treatment.”

What's worse, they had earlier been dissuaded from filing a police report. According to news reports, after their shop had been vandalised Afsana was told by local police that “they had settled the matter and would not intervene in our business and told us that there was no need to file a complaint.” Afsana now feels that this is an attempt is to send them away from the village. "But we have built a life here. This time, I will file a complaint and the bike accident was planned,” she said.

Related:

Meat politics and related jurisprudence in India

Hate Watch: Vigilante groups misuse Navratri as an excuse to spread communal unrest

Mathura: Three arrested after being ‘rescued’ from cow vigilantes 

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Bangladesh: Mass strike called on October 23 to protest attacks on minorities

Bangladeshis stand in solidarity with their Hindu compatriots, even as violence against the minority community continues in places

19 Oct 2021

ProtestImage Courtesy:asianews.it

Protests continue in Bangladesh as thousands of citizens stand in solidarity with their Hindu compatriots in the wake of violence against the minority community. International media has covered how for the past few days Bangladeshis, across religions are seeking justice for their Hindu fellow citizens who have borne the brunt of recent communal attacks during Durga puja.

On Saturday, October 23, 2021, a mass strike and protest rally has been called for “in districts and sub-districts across the country” by the  Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Parishad to “condemn, protest and condemn communal attacks and want the overall security of religious-ethnic minority population.” Citizens of the country are taking to the streets demanding safety of Bangladeshi Hindus, and taking their campaign online with hashtags such as SaveBangladeshiHindus.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/lydIXAKov8e4B_NtFCT9URQRT82m4U7l8ZVqr3kUYJbt7ApOdslWNdW4m59WlGdrMOAXrVbbNAHtuaoMT0h6dRDfJ74ntuWZTdMHYtcstkgjpU2bR-H3x_moy4wRe_yjp6WubDe-=s1600

According to a report in Al Jazeera, the mob attacks on Hindu temples and clashes with police in various parts of Bangladesh "have left  at least six people, including two Hindus, dead and more than 100 injured.” Local police told the media that “more than 200 attackers beat and stabbed to death an executive member of the temple committee in the southern town of Begumganj” at a time when the final ceremonies of the Durga Puja festival were being carried out. Shahidul Islam the district police chief told AFP  that on Saturday another Hindu man’s body was found near a pond next to the temple. Four others were killed late on Wednesday “when police opened fire on a crowd of about 500 people attacking a Hindu temple in Hajiganj, one of several towns hit by the disturbances” stated Reuters.

Fresh violence in Bangladesh reported 

Fresh violence in Bangladesh was reported when a mob attacked houses belonging to members of the community at a village in Rangpur’s Pirganj Upazila. The trigger for the violence, police said, was a Facebook post with “religiously abusive content,” believed to have been made by a Hindu man. According to a report in HT, Mohammad Sadequl Islam, the chairman of the local Union Parishad, said, “Around 65 houses were torched during the attack on Sunday night, resulting in at least 20 houses being completely burnt down.” He alleged, the mob was of “local units of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI) and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir.”

Hindus comprise around 10 percent of Bangladesh’s 165 million population and have been shaken and left fearful since violence also broke out in the nation’s capital Dhaka, and the port city of Chittagong. High-speed mobile phone internet services were shut and police resorted to fire “tear gas and rubber bullets at thousands of brick-throwing Muslim protesters”. Protests have continued in the country and according to news reports at least 150 Hindus were injured across Bangladesh. According to  community leader Gobinda Chandra Pramanik, “At least 80 makeshift temples had been attacked” in Noakhali, Bangladesh. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) called on the Gov't of Bangladesh “to ensure the safety of all Hindus and bring the perpetrators to justice”.

Radharamn Das, Vice President , ISKCON, Kolkata, announced a “1-day protest & prayer meetings for victims in Bangladesh on 23 Oct, in almost 150 countries at all ISKCON centers”.

Bangladesh Police have reportedly detained at least 300 suspects in connection with the riots. However, attacks targeting Hindus continue in Bangladesh despite Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina making a strong statement that the guilty will be punished regardless of their religion. Bangladesh Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Sunday said that the attacks on Durga Puja pandals were “pre-planned” adding that those found involved will be given “exemplary” punishment.

The Indian right-wing adds communal fuel

Many right-wing influencers from India have meanwhile decided to add communal fuel to what is happening across the border in Bangladesh. Most recently, they have shared a video from Tripura and claimed it is of the ongoing violence against Hindus minorities  in Bangladesh 

The image shared was originally posted by Twitter handle @UnityCouncilBD of the ‘Bangladesh Hindu Unity Council’. It claimed the violence was  from Rangpur. However a fact check by Alt news revealed that “the samee video was shared by a Facebook page named ‘Social Tripura Network’. The news ticker in Bengali flashing at the bottom says that the incident took place in ‘মরাছড়া বাজার’ or Mara Cherra Bazar which is in Karatichhara, Tripura.” The cause of the fire was yet to be determined though “ some locals suspected that the fire started from the mandap, others think that a short circuit in one of the shops caused the fire outbreak.”

Related

'Zero tolerance for communal violence': Dhaka Tribune editorial
Don’t consider yourselves as minorities: Sheikh Hasina reassures Hindus

Bangladesh: Mass strike called on October 23 to protest attacks on minorities

Bangladeshis stand in solidarity with their Hindu compatriots, even as violence against the minority community continues in places

ProtestImage Courtesy:asianews.it

Protests continue in Bangladesh as thousands of citizens stand in solidarity with their Hindu compatriots in the wake of violence against the minority community. International media has covered how for the past few days Bangladeshis, across religions are seeking justice for their Hindu fellow citizens who have borne the brunt of recent communal attacks during Durga puja.

On Saturday, October 23, 2021, a mass strike and protest rally has been called for “in districts and sub-districts across the country” by the  Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Parishad to “condemn, protest and condemn communal attacks and want the overall security of religious-ethnic minority population.” Citizens of the country are taking to the streets demanding safety of Bangladeshi Hindus, and taking their campaign online with hashtags such as SaveBangladeshiHindus.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/lydIXAKov8e4B_NtFCT9URQRT82m4U7l8ZVqr3kUYJbt7ApOdslWNdW4m59WlGdrMOAXrVbbNAHtuaoMT0h6dRDfJ74ntuWZTdMHYtcstkgjpU2bR-H3x_moy4wRe_yjp6WubDe-=s1600

According to a report in Al Jazeera, the mob attacks on Hindu temples and clashes with police in various parts of Bangladesh "have left  at least six people, including two Hindus, dead and more than 100 injured.” Local police told the media that “more than 200 attackers beat and stabbed to death an executive member of the temple committee in the southern town of Begumganj” at a time when the final ceremonies of the Durga Puja festival were being carried out. Shahidul Islam the district police chief told AFP  that on Saturday another Hindu man’s body was found near a pond next to the temple. Four others were killed late on Wednesday “when police opened fire on a crowd of about 500 people attacking a Hindu temple in Hajiganj, one of several towns hit by the disturbances” stated Reuters.

Fresh violence in Bangladesh reported 

Fresh violence in Bangladesh was reported when a mob attacked houses belonging to members of the community at a village in Rangpur’s Pirganj Upazila. The trigger for the violence, police said, was a Facebook post with “religiously abusive content,” believed to have been made by a Hindu man. According to a report in HT, Mohammad Sadequl Islam, the chairman of the local Union Parishad, said, “Around 65 houses were torched during the attack on Sunday night, resulting in at least 20 houses being completely burnt down.” He alleged, the mob was of “local units of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI) and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir.”

Hindus comprise around 10 percent of Bangladesh’s 165 million population and have been shaken and left fearful since violence also broke out in the nation’s capital Dhaka, and the port city of Chittagong. High-speed mobile phone internet services were shut and police resorted to fire “tear gas and rubber bullets at thousands of brick-throwing Muslim protesters”. Protests have continued in the country and according to news reports at least 150 Hindus were injured across Bangladesh. According to  community leader Gobinda Chandra Pramanik, “At least 80 makeshift temples had been attacked” in Noakhali, Bangladesh. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) called on the Gov't of Bangladesh “to ensure the safety of all Hindus and bring the perpetrators to justice”.

Radharamn Das, Vice President , ISKCON, Kolkata, announced a “1-day protest & prayer meetings for victims in Bangladesh on 23 Oct, in almost 150 countries at all ISKCON centers”.

Bangladesh Police have reportedly detained at least 300 suspects in connection with the riots. However, attacks targeting Hindus continue in Bangladesh despite Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina making a strong statement that the guilty will be punished regardless of their religion. Bangladesh Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Sunday said that the attacks on Durga Puja pandals were “pre-planned” adding that those found involved will be given “exemplary” punishment.

The Indian right-wing adds communal fuel

Many right-wing influencers from India have meanwhile decided to add communal fuel to what is happening across the border in Bangladesh. Most recently, they have shared a video from Tripura and claimed it is of the ongoing violence against Hindus minorities  in Bangladesh 

The image shared was originally posted by Twitter handle @UnityCouncilBD of the ‘Bangladesh Hindu Unity Council’. It claimed the violence was  from Rangpur. However a fact check by Alt news revealed that “the samee video was shared by a Facebook page named ‘Social Tripura Network’. The news ticker in Bengali flashing at the bottom says that the incident took place in ‘মরাছড়া বাজার’ or Mara Cherra Bazar which is in Karatichhara, Tripura.” The cause of the fire was yet to be determined though “ some locals suspected that the fire started from the mandap, others think that a short circuit in one of the shops caused the fire outbreak.”

Related

'Zero tolerance for communal violence': Dhaka Tribune editorial
Don’t consider yourselves as minorities: Sheikh Hasina reassures Hindus

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Hate Watch: Right-Wing group sing bhajans in Karnataka church as "protest" 

Archbishop of Bengaluru had warned against such vigilante after Karnataka’s Backward & Minority Welfare Department proposed a survey of “Christian missionaries and places of worship”

19 Oct 2021

ight-Wing group sing bhajans in Karnataka church as "protest" 

Men belonging to Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) sat down and sung Hindu bhajans in a Karnataka church, and alleged that the church authorities were “conducting forced religious conversions”.

The Bairidevarkoppa Church in Hubli has said no conversions were taking place. According to news reports, the group of men all belonging to right wing groups, allegedly forced their way into the church on Sunday morning. They sat at the back of the church, without masks and sang a bhajan, rather repeating the chant “Sri Ram jai Ram jai jai Ram”. 

The men were reportedly claiming this was their way of `protest’ and they alleged that there were forced religious conversions taking place there. The video clip of the incident showed that there were dozens of other women and men sitting inside the church at the time. According to a report in NDTV, the local MLA Arvind Bellad of the Bharatiya Janata Party, “blocked a highway demanding the arrest of pastor Somu Avaradhi.” It was reported that both, members of the church and the activists of the right-wing organisations, have alleged that they were also attacked over the incident. “Pastor Somu and some of his associates were admitted to hospital with minor injuries,” stated the news report adding that he has “been named in a complaint under the law for protection of Scheduled Castes and Tribes as well as one against "deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings" and was arrested while three others were let off after questioning.

Meanwhile the church authorities told the media that they also filed a complaint on Monday. Labu Ram, the Commissioner of Police for Hubli-Dharwad said, "The investigation is going on. Only Somu Avaradhi has been arrested. So far, we have not received any complaint from the church." However, according to Cedric Jacob, a senior member of the church, "When they started chanting bhajan in our church, the pastor Somu Avaradhi came. He was gheroed by them. A few ladies were also there who sustained injury during the heated situation and the pushing pulling." 

Raghu Sakleshpora, the State Convenor of the Bajrang Dal alleged, "A man called Vishvanath was taken there for conversion. He went to the police station from the church and filed a complaint against Pastor Somu and others. Later, our members assembled inside the church and in order to protest, started singing Hindu bhajans." The case against the pastor was filed by Shashi, a Bajrang Dal member, alleging forced conversions and accused the pastor of abusing him in the church when he chanted Hindu prayers.

Anti-Christian vigilante on the prowl

The Archbishop of Bengaluru recently reacted strongly to the reports of Karnataka’s Backward & Minority Welfare Department’s proposed survey of “Christian missionaries and places of worship”. The Church leader has said that such a decision can lead to targeting of Christians, especially their religious places and leaders, as incidents have already been reported from North Karnataka. On Friday, Archbishop of Bengaluru Archdiocese Peter Machado wrote, “We are sad that the Hon’ble Chief Minister, Shri Basavaraj Bommai, whom we regard highly as a broad-minded and enlightened person, succumbs to pressures from fundamentalist groups, who wish to indulge in disturbing the peace, harmony and peaceful co-existence in society.” 

The Archbishop said that the proposed survey of the Christian missionaries and places of worship was a “futile and unnecessary” exercise “no good will come out of it”. He reminded the authorities that “in the background of the conversion bogey and anti-religious feelings that are being whipped up, it is dangerous to make such surveys. With this our community places of worship as also pastors and sisters will be identified and may be unfairly targeted. We are already hearing of such sporadic incidents in the north and in Karnataka already.”

 

Related:

Survey of Karnataka’s Christian missionaries and places of worship, a dangerous exercise: Archbishop

Karnataka: CM Bommai normalising ‘moral policing’, gets schooled by ex-CM Siddaramaiah

Hate Watch: Was Sri Rama Sena Hindustan member allegedly paid Rs 5 lakh to kill 

Mangaluru: Protests by Hindutva groups force College to cancel naming park after 

Hate Watch: Right-Wing group sing bhajans in Karnataka church as "protest" 

Archbishop of Bengaluru had warned against such vigilante after Karnataka’s Backward & Minority Welfare Department proposed a survey of “Christian missionaries and places of worship”

ight-Wing group sing bhajans in Karnataka church as "protest" 

Men belonging to Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) sat down and sung Hindu bhajans in a Karnataka church, and alleged that the church authorities were “conducting forced religious conversions”.

The Bairidevarkoppa Church in Hubli has said no conversions were taking place. According to news reports, the group of men all belonging to right wing groups, allegedly forced their way into the church on Sunday morning. They sat at the back of the church, without masks and sang a bhajan, rather repeating the chant “Sri Ram jai Ram jai jai Ram”. 

The men were reportedly claiming this was their way of `protest’ and they alleged that there were forced religious conversions taking place there. The video clip of the incident showed that there were dozens of other women and men sitting inside the church at the time. According to a report in NDTV, the local MLA Arvind Bellad of the Bharatiya Janata Party, “blocked a highway demanding the arrest of pastor Somu Avaradhi.” It was reported that both, members of the church and the activists of the right-wing organisations, have alleged that they were also attacked over the incident. “Pastor Somu and some of his associates were admitted to hospital with minor injuries,” stated the news report adding that he has “been named in a complaint under the law for protection of Scheduled Castes and Tribes as well as one against "deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings" and was arrested while three others were let off after questioning.

Meanwhile the church authorities told the media that they also filed a complaint on Monday. Labu Ram, the Commissioner of Police for Hubli-Dharwad said, "The investigation is going on. Only Somu Avaradhi has been arrested. So far, we have not received any complaint from the church." However, according to Cedric Jacob, a senior member of the church, "When they started chanting bhajan in our church, the pastor Somu Avaradhi came. He was gheroed by them. A few ladies were also there who sustained injury during the heated situation and the pushing pulling." 

Raghu Sakleshpora, the State Convenor of the Bajrang Dal alleged, "A man called Vishvanath was taken there for conversion. He went to the police station from the church and filed a complaint against Pastor Somu and others. Later, our members assembled inside the church and in order to protest, started singing Hindu bhajans." The case against the pastor was filed by Shashi, a Bajrang Dal member, alleging forced conversions and accused the pastor of abusing him in the church when he chanted Hindu prayers.

Anti-Christian vigilante on the prowl

The Archbishop of Bengaluru recently reacted strongly to the reports of Karnataka’s Backward & Minority Welfare Department’s proposed survey of “Christian missionaries and places of worship”. The Church leader has said that such a decision can lead to targeting of Christians, especially their religious places and leaders, as incidents have already been reported from North Karnataka. On Friday, Archbishop of Bengaluru Archdiocese Peter Machado wrote, “We are sad that the Hon’ble Chief Minister, Shri Basavaraj Bommai, whom we regard highly as a broad-minded and enlightened person, succumbs to pressures from fundamentalist groups, who wish to indulge in disturbing the peace, harmony and peaceful co-existence in society.” 

The Archbishop said that the proposed survey of the Christian missionaries and places of worship was a “futile and unnecessary” exercise “no good will come out of it”. He reminded the authorities that “in the background of the conversion bogey and anti-religious feelings that are being whipped up, it is dangerous to make such surveys. With this our community places of worship as also pastors and sisters will be identified and may be unfairly targeted. We are already hearing of such sporadic incidents in the north and in Karnataka already.”

 

Related:

Survey of Karnataka’s Christian missionaries and places of worship, a dangerous exercise: Archbishop

Karnataka: CM Bommai normalising ‘moral policing’, gets schooled by ex-CM Siddaramaiah

Hate Watch: Was Sri Rama Sena Hindustan member allegedly paid Rs 5 lakh to kill 

Mangaluru: Protests by Hindutva groups force College to cancel naming park after 

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Survey of Karnataka’s Christian missionaries and places of worship, a dangerous exercise: Archbishop

When conversion bogey, anti-religious feelings are being whipped up, it is dangerous to make such surveys, says Archbishop of Bengaluru Archdiocese Peter Machado

16 Oct 2021

SurveyImage Courtesy:daijiworld.com

The Archbishop of Bengaluru has reacted strongly to the reports of Karnataka’s Backward & Minority Welfare Department’s survey of “Christian missionaries and places of worship”. The Church leader has stated that such a decision can lead to targeting of Christians, especially their religious places and leaders, as incidents have already been reported from North Karnataka.

On Friday, Archbishop of Bengaluru Archdiocese Peter Machado wrote, “We are sad that the Hon’ble Chief Minister, Shri Basavaraj Bommai, whom we regard highly as a broad-minded and enlightened person, succumbs to pressures from fundamentalist groups, who wish to indulge in disturbing the peace, harmony and peaceful co-existence in society.” 

The Archbishop said that the proposed survey of the Christian missionaries and places of worship was a “futile and unnecessary” exercise “no good will come out of it”. He reminded the authorities that “in the background of the conversion bogey and anti-religious feelings that are being whipped up, it is dangerous to make such surveys. With this our community places of worship as also pastors and sisters will be identified and may be unfairly targeted. We are already hearing of such sporadic incidents in the north and in Karnataka already.”

He asked why was the government interested in surveying the religious personnel and places of worship only of the Christian Community? He stated that the government can instead count the educational institutions and health centres run by the Christian missionaries and “that will give a fair idea of the service that is rendered by the Christian Community to nation building.” He also raised crucial questions on the allegations of conversions, asking, “How many people are converted in these places and institutions? If, as alleged by some, Christians are converting indiscriminately, why is the percentage of Christian population reducing regularly when compared to the others?”

The Archbishop shared that Christians are “always against forceful, fraudulent and incentivised conversions and we repeat that we are lawfully abiding by the prescriptions of the Constitution of India, which for us is supreme and sacred. Does not the Constitution in Article 25 (also 26, 29 & 30) ensure the freedom of every citizen to profess, practice and propagate his/her religion without fear or force? Why do we need any anti-conversion laws when there are enough safeguards enshrined in the Constitution and the legal system of the country to punish the guilty? Further laws will only be tools in the hands of a few to hound and persecute the innocent. Just a few days back the Madras Court declared that merely going to church and displaying Christian symbols does not mean that a person has converted. The Christian Community is patriotic, law abiding and would like to be foremost in the service of the poor and downtrodden in the country.”

The full text of the Archbishop of Bangalore’s statement may be read here: 

What is this survey about?

According to multiple news reports, the  legislative committee on Backward Classes and Minorities Welfare in Karnataka has reportedly “ordered a survey of authorised and unauthorised churches, their priests and registering cases wherever complaints arose regarding forcible religious conversion.” Hosadurga BJP MLA, Gulihatti Shekhar, a member of the committee, told the media on Friday that the district authorities have already been asked “to furnish a detailed report on the number of authorised and unauthorised churches and Christian priests." The committee is chaired by Dinakar Keshav Shetty.

The district authorities, especially in Yadgir, Chidradurga and Vijayapura have been asked to conduct the survey and it has been alleged that “religious conversions are rampant” here. According to Gulihatti Shekhar, "We have also instructed police to accompany the officials during the survey as the officials were attacked on many occasions," and police have been told “register a case on receiving complaints and conduct a fair inquiry." 

Shekhar told the media that the last meeting of the committee also discussed denying “double benefit” to those belonging to the scheduled castes who have converted to Christianity. He said, "You cannot avail the benefit of SC and also a minority. You can have only one. Due to these practices, the actual scheduled caste people are not getting the benefits." He claimed that “religious conversion was rampant among the socially weaker sections, especially Bovi and Lamani communities”.

Related:

Karnataka: CM Bommai normalising ‘moral policing’, gets schooled by ex-CM Siddaramaiah
Hate Watch: Was Sri Rama Sena Hindustan member allegedly paid Rs 5 lakh to kill 
Mangaluru: Protests by Hindutva groups force College to cancel naming park after 

Survey of Karnataka’s Christian missionaries and places of worship, a dangerous exercise: Archbishop

When conversion bogey, anti-religious feelings are being whipped up, it is dangerous to make such surveys, says Archbishop of Bengaluru Archdiocese Peter Machado

SurveyImage Courtesy:daijiworld.com

The Archbishop of Bengaluru has reacted strongly to the reports of Karnataka’s Backward & Minority Welfare Department’s survey of “Christian missionaries and places of worship”. The Church leader has stated that such a decision can lead to targeting of Christians, especially their religious places and leaders, as incidents have already been reported from North Karnataka.

On Friday, Archbishop of Bengaluru Archdiocese Peter Machado wrote, “We are sad that the Hon’ble Chief Minister, Shri Basavaraj Bommai, whom we regard highly as a broad-minded and enlightened person, succumbs to pressures from fundamentalist groups, who wish to indulge in disturbing the peace, harmony and peaceful co-existence in society.” 

The Archbishop said that the proposed survey of the Christian missionaries and places of worship was a “futile and unnecessary” exercise “no good will come out of it”. He reminded the authorities that “in the background of the conversion bogey and anti-religious feelings that are being whipped up, it is dangerous to make such surveys. With this our community places of worship as also pastors and sisters will be identified and may be unfairly targeted. We are already hearing of such sporadic incidents in the north and in Karnataka already.”

He asked why was the government interested in surveying the religious personnel and places of worship only of the Christian Community? He stated that the government can instead count the educational institutions and health centres run by the Christian missionaries and “that will give a fair idea of the service that is rendered by the Christian Community to nation building.” He also raised crucial questions on the allegations of conversions, asking, “How many people are converted in these places and institutions? If, as alleged by some, Christians are converting indiscriminately, why is the percentage of Christian population reducing regularly when compared to the others?”

The Archbishop shared that Christians are “always against forceful, fraudulent and incentivised conversions and we repeat that we are lawfully abiding by the prescriptions of the Constitution of India, which for us is supreme and sacred. Does not the Constitution in Article 25 (also 26, 29 & 30) ensure the freedom of every citizen to profess, practice and propagate his/her religion without fear or force? Why do we need any anti-conversion laws when there are enough safeguards enshrined in the Constitution and the legal system of the country to punish the guilty? Further laws will only be tools in the hands of a few to hound and persecute the innocent. Just a few days back the Madras Court declared that merely going to church and displaying Christian symbols does not mean that a person has converted. The Christian Community is patriotic, law abiding and would like to be foremost in the service of the poor and downtrodden in the country.”

The full text of the Archbishop of Bangalore’s statement may be read here: 

What is this survey about?

According to multiple news reports, the  legislative committee on Backward Classes and Minorities Welfare in Karnataka has reportedly “ordered a survey of authorised and unauthorised churches, their priests and registering cases wherever complaints arose regarding forcible religious conversion.” Hosadurga BJP MLA, Gulihatti Shekhar, a member of the committee, told the media on Friday that the district authorities have already been asked “to furnish a detailed report on the number of authorised and unauthorised churches and Christian priests." The committee is chaired by Dinakar Keshav Shetty.

The district authorities, especially in Yadgir, Chidradurga and Vijayapura have been asked to conduct the survey and it has been alleged that “religious conversions are rampant” here. According to Gulihatti Shekhar, "We have also instructed police to accompany the officials during the survey as the officials were attacked on many occasions," and police have been told “register a case on receiving complaints and conduct a fair inquiry." 

Shekhar told the media that the last meeting of the committee also discussed denying “double benefit” to those belonging to the scheduled castes who have converted to Christianity. He said, "You cannot avail the benefit of SC and also a minority. You can have only one. Due to these practices, the actual scheduled caste people are not getting the benefits." He claimed that “religious conversion was rampant among the socially weaker sections, especially Bovi and Lamani communities”.

Related:

Karnataka: CM Bommai normalising ‘moral policing’, gets schooled by ex-CM Siddaramaiah
Hate Watch: Was Sri Rama Sena Hindustan member allegedly paid Rs 5 lakh to kill 
Mangaluru: Protests by Hindutva groups force College to cancel naming park after 

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CJP moves NCM over hate crimes against Muslims in Madhya Pradesh

Since August, right-wing groups have reportedly threatened and assaulted Muslims in the State

15 Oct 2021

Muslim Family AttackImage Courtesy: maktoobmedia.com

Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), has written to the National Commission for Minorities (NCM), over attacks on Muslims in Madhya Pradesh since August. CJP’s prayer to the apex minority rights body is to conduct a full-fledged investigation into such incidents and also seek information about such attacks under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992.

CJP has listed the incidents that have come to light over the past few weeks in the state:

On October 9, a Muslim family was attacked in Indore’s Kampel locality, after the family refused to leave the village dominated by the Hindu community. The family of about 8 sustained injuries on their head, arms, and legs. One family member, Fouzia, alleged that a group of 100-150 men associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), had come to her house and started threatening her family to leave the village. She said that her uncle, and her father, who is also a diabetic was assaulted and injured their arms and head. The mob allegedly broke her phone and injured her leg.

CJP’s complaint has also mentioned the case of Tasleem Ali, a bangle seller who was beaten up by a mob of right-wing Hindu groups on August 22 in Indore. The victim was warned to not enter the ‘Hindu’ locality. To further harass him, Tasleem was arrested on a complaint of the Class VI student, who stated that he introduced himself as Golu son of Mohar Singh (instead of Tasleem Ali) and molested her while her mother had gone inside the house to get money to pay for the bangles purchased.

A case was registered against him under sections 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354A (Sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment), 467 (Forgery of a valuable security), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (Using as genuine a forged), 420 (cheating) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC as well as under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Meanwhile, Tasleem’s lawyer has alleged that when he went to lodge his complaint at first instance, no FIR was lodged and thereafter this case of molestation was lodged against him as an afterthought. Tasleem’s complaint was finally lodged after a crowd gathered outside the police station. 

CJP’s complaint also highlights how some posters have been put up in Ratlam prohibiting the entry of “non-Hindus” outside Garba venues. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) claims that non-Hindu men indulge in objectionable activities and thus their entry is being prohibited for Garba. One of the volunteers manning the entry at the college event, Habib Noor, a third-year B. Com student, has said that members of the Bajrang Dal had picked out Kadir Mansoori in the parking lot, saying “Ye unwala hai (he is one of theirs).” One Sajid Shah, Adnan Shah’s uncle released a video on social media stating that his nephew was put behind bars on allegations of “love jihad”. He questioned, “Can a Muslim not celebrate Garba in his college function?” He said that members of Bajrang Dal and VHP selectively dragged out the Muslim boys and handed them over to Gandhinagar Police station.

Impact of such vitriolic attacks

Our complaint states that the manner in which hate has been maliciously whipped up against the Muslim minorities in the state, needs immediate attention as this behaviour cannot be tolerated under any circumstances. “These are clear indicators that a persistent and all-pervasive attempt is made not just to disturb social harmony but worse, to create a climate of divisiveness wherein hate crimes preceded by hate speech are being deployed to target an already vulnerable minority community,” reads the complaint.

These attacks, we fear, will play into the deep communal divide the authorities are ignoring and we are on the verge of violence, targeted violence and social disharmony becoming the norm in our society. Hence, CJP has urged the commission to protect the minorities from this danger as India is a democracy which is committed to the ideology of tolerance and diversity.

The complaint further refers to the supreme court judgment of Tehseen S Poonawalla vs Union of India (2016), where the court has listed down the dangers of mob violence and how the state is responsible to maintain law and order in the society. The court had ruled:

“Mob vigilantism and mob violence have to be prevented by the governments by taking strict action and by the vigil society who ought to report such incidents to the state machinery and the police instead of taking the law into their own hands. Rising intolerance and growing polarization expressed through spate of incidents of mob violence cannot be permitted to become the normal way of life or the normal state of law and order in the country. Good governance and nation building require sustenance of law and order which is intricately linked to the preservation of the marrows of our social structure. In such a situation, the State has a sacrosanct duty to protect its citizens from unruly elements and perpetrators of orchestrated lynching and vigilantism with utmost sincerity and true commitment to address and curb such incidents which must reflect in its actions and schemes.”

The complaint has also listed down the various violations of law that include charges of rioting, hate speech, assault, causing grievous hurt, being a member of an unlawful assembly and attempt to murder.

Lastly, we have urged the Commission to take cognisance of our complaint and ensure physical protection to members of the religious minorities in a state like Madhya Pradesh where a culture of violence-driven immunity appears to prevail. We have also humbly requested the commission to issue guidelines/advisory to all State Governments/ administrations, State Police Departments to deal with communally motivated and partisan attacks in a stringent manner and urge the authorities to follow through with these complaints in a swift manner.

The complaints may be read here: 

 

Related:

Christian nuns, congregation attacked in UP: CJP approaches NCM
CJP writes to Minorities Commission over attacks on churches

CJP moves NCM over hate crimes against Muslims in Madhya Pradesh

Since August, right-wing groups have reportedly threatened and assaulted Muslims in the State

Muslim Family AttackImage Courtesy: maktoobmedia.com

Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), has written to the National Commission for Minorities (NCM), over attacks on Muslims in Madhya Pradesh since August. CJP’s prayer to the apex minority rights body is to conduct a full-fledged investigation into such incidents and also seek information about such attacks under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992.

CJP has listed the incidents that have come to light over the past few weeks in the state:

On October 9, a Muslim family was attacked in Indore’s Kampel locality, after the family refused to leave the village dominated by the Hindu community. The family of about 8 sustained injuries on their head, arms, and legs. One family member, Fouzia, alleged that a group of 100-150 men associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), had come to her house and started threatening her family to leave the village. She said that her uncle, and her father, who is also a diabetic was assaulted and injured their arms and head. The mob allegedly broke her phone and injured her leg.

CJP’s complaint has also mentioned the case of Tasleem Ali, a bangle seller who was beaten up by a mob of right-wing Hindu groups on August 22 in Indore. The victim was warned to not enter the ‘Hindu’ locality. To further harass him, Tasleem was arrested on a complaint of the Class VI student, who stated that he introduced himself as Golu son of Mohar Singh (instead of Tasleem Ali) and molested her while her mother had gone inside the house to get money to pay for the bangles purchased.

A case was registered against him under sections 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354A (Sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment), 467 (Forgery of a valuable security), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (Using as genuine a forged), 420 (cheating) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC as well as under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Meanwhile, Tasleem’s lawyer has alleged that when he went to lodge his complaint at first instance, no FIR was lodged and thereafter this case of molestation was lodged against him as an afterthought. Tasleem’s complaint was finally lodged after a crowd gathered outside the police station. 

CJP’s complaint also highlights how some posters have been put up in Ratlam prohibiting the entry of “non-Hindus” outside Garba venues. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) claims that non-Hindu men indulge in objectionable activities and thus their entry is being prohibited for Garba. One of the volunteers manning the entry at the college event, Habib Noor, a third-year B. Com student, has said that members of the Bajrang Dal had picked out Kadir Mansoori in the parking lot, saying “Ye unwala hai (he is one of theirs).” One Sajid Shah, Adnan Shah’s uncle released a video on social media stating that his nephew was put behind bars on allegations of “love jihad”. He questioned, “Can a Muslim not celebrate Garba in his college function?” He said that members of Bajrang Dal and VHP selectively dragged out the Muslim boys and handed them over to Gandhinagar Police station.

Impact of such vitriolic attacks

Our complaint states that the manner in which hate has been maliciously whipped up against the Muslim minorities in the state, needs immediate attention as this behaviour cannot be tolerated under any circumstances. “These are clear indicators that a persistent and all-pervasive attempt is made not just to disturb social harmony but worse, to create a climate of divisiveness wherein hate crimes preceded by hate speech are being deployed to target an already vulnerable minority community,” reads the complaint.

These attacks, we fear, will play into the deep communal divide the authorities are ignoring and we are on the verge of violence, targeted violence and social disharmony becoming the norm in our society. Hence, CJP has urged the commission to protect the minorities from this danger as India is a democracy which is committed to the ideology of tolerance and diversity.

The complaint further refers to the supreme court judgment of Tehseen S Poonawalla vs Union of India (2016), where the court has listed down the dangers of mob violence and how the state is responsible to maintain law and order in the society. The court had ruled:

“Mob vigilantism and mob violence have to be prevented by the governments by taking strict action and by the vigil society who ought to report such incidents to the state machinery and the police instead of taking the law into their own hands. Rising intolerance and growing polarization expressed through spate of incidents of mob violence cannot be permitted to become the normal way of life or the normal state of law and order in the country. Good governance and nation building require sustenance of law and order which is intricately linked to the preservation of the marrows of our social structure. In such a situation, the State has a sacrosanct duty to protect its citizens from unruly elements and perpetrators of orchestrated lynching and vigilantism with utmost sincerity and true commitment to address and curb such incidents which must reflect in its actions and schemes.”

The complaint has also listed down the various violations of law that include charges of rioting, hate speech, assault, causing grievous hurt, being a member of an unlawful assembly and attempt to murder.

Lastly, we have urged the Commission to take cognisance of our complaint and ensure physical protection to members of the religious minorities in a state like Madhya Pradesh where a culture of violence-driven immunity appears to prevail. We have also humbly requested the commission to issue guidelines/advisory to all State Governments/ administrations, State Police Departments to deal with communally motivated and partisan attacks in a stringent manner and urge the authorities to follow through with these complaints in a swift manner.

The complaints may be read here: 

 

Related:

Christian nuns, congregation attacked in UP: CJP approaches NCM
CJP writes to Minorities Commission over attacks on churches

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CJP approaches minorities commission over attacks on Christian nuns, prayer congregation in UP

Right-wing goons have allegedly targeted the minority community, falsely accusing them of conducting religious conversion

14 Oct 2021

NCM

Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) has written to the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) over widespread reports of right-wing vigilante mobs that have been out on the streets in Mau, Uttar Pradesh, allegedly disturbing peaceful prayers and mistreating nuns by handing them over to the police, after falsely accusing them of carrying out religious conversions.

On October 10, goons who claimed to be activists of Bajrang Dal as well as Hindu Yuva Vahini reportedly disturbed a prayer meeting and took the worshippers to the police station including the pastor. In another incident, two nuns were taken to the police station on similar false allegations of ‘religious conversion’.

The complaint reads, “The allegations moreover appear to be completely baseless, never mind that Article 25 of the Indian Constitution gives every Indian citizen the right to freely profess and practice he/his faith. Our interviews with many of those religious persons, women, reveal a disturbing pattern of vigilantism that clearly enjoys high degrees of immunity from the authorities.”

Incidents mentioned in the complaint

On October 10, a school principal Sister Gracy Monteiro, her colleague Sister Roshni Minj and their driver were attacked by some people in Mau, Uttar Pradesh. Sister Monteiro spoke to CJP’s sister organisation, SabrangIndia and said that a mob of Hindutva radicals, accosted her along with sister Roshni Minj, roughed up their driver and forcibly took the three to the police station where there were kept till 6 P.M.

Sister Monetrio said she kept asking the mobs who they were, and kept trying to prevent them from hitting the driver, a non-Christian, even as the mob continued verbally and physically abusing them, accusing the three of religious conversion. She further alleged, “There were just the three of us. I was accompanying Sister Minj who was going home to Ranchi to visit her dying father. As we did not get the direct bus, we went to the Mau bus stand and Sr Minj went to ask about the bus, while the driver and I stayed in the car. Then a mob came and attacked the driver, dragged him out, and forced us nuns to walk to the police station." 

On the same day, October 10, a regular Christian prayer service was attacked by a mob some of whom claimed to be activists of Bajrang Dal as well as Hindu Yuva Vahini. The group then forced the Christian worshipers, including the priest to the police station. According to the First Information Report (FIR) filed by one Radheshyam Singh the worshipers have been accused of forcing people to convert to Christianity through allurements, as well as “violating Covid-19 protocol, using musical instruments, consuming narcotics and other intoxicants.”

Impact

CJP’s complaint states that this is not an isolated incident and that there is an attempt by some goons to create fear psychosis to carry out such attacks every few days targeting common people belonging to one particular faith and dissuading them from worshipping their gods. A few days ago, CJP wrote to the National Commission for Minorities over various instances of attacks on churches, allegedly by right-wing outfits in Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh between October 2 and 3.

“This instance has gone a step ahead and the mob has attacked nuns who were simply waiting in a car at a bus stand. It was their clothes that gave away their religious identity and they were targeted only on the basis of their religious identity and false allegations of religious conversion were made. Clearly, these attacks had a motive of intimidating the members of the minority Christian community and creating an environment of fear psychosis on communal lines,” reads the complaint.

The complaint has also quoted Mahatma Gandhi who had said, “There are many religions as there are individuals; but those who are conscious of the spirit of nationality do not interfere with one another religion. If Hindus believe that India should be populated only by Hindus, they are living in a dreamland. The Hindus, the Mahomedans, the Parsees and the Christians who have made their country are fellow countrymen and they will have to live in unity if only for their own interest. In no part of the world are one nationality and one religion synonymous terms; nor has it ever been so in India”.

In a shocking display of unaccountability –and what amounts to making the victim pay as perpetrator, CJP has alleged that in one of these incidents the pastor and other members of the prayer congregation have been put behind bars by Mau Police on false allegations while they were merely offering prayers. This is against the basic values enshrined in our Constitution through Article 25 that gives everyone the right to freely practice their own religion. 

Prayers

Accordingly, we have urged the commission to conduct a full-fledged inquiry/investigation into these brutal and targeted attacks and publish a comprehensive report on it for widespread distribution in the country. Referring to the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992, CJP has also urged the commission to undertake studies into the various problems arising out of such discrimination against minorities and take up such matters with appropriate authorities and also seek information on the case registered against the Pastor and others by Mau Police. 

We have also requested NCM to ensure physical protection to members of the religious minorities in a state like Uttar Pradesh where a culture of violence-driven immunity appears to prevail, and issue an immediate statement –pending the deeper investigation/inquiry --condemning these attacks, urging police to take stringent action to ensure the immediate release of those innocent in custody. If necessary, we have also urged the commission to approach our courts for relief. 

The entire complaints may be read here: 

 

Related:

CJP writes to Minorities Commission over attacks on churches
NCM seeks report from DIG Meerut on CJP’s complaint against Yati Narsinghanand’s disciple

CJP approaches minorities commission over attacks on Christian nuns, prayer congregation in UP

Right-wing goons have allegedly targeted the minority community, falsely accusing them of conducting religious conversion

NCM

Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) has written to the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) over widespread reports of right-wing vigilante mobs that have been out on the streets in Mau, Uttar Pradesh, allegedly disturbing peaceful prayers and mistreating nuns by handing them over to the police, after falsely accusing them of carrying out religious conversions.

On October 10, goons who claimed to be activists of Bajrang Dal as well as Hindu Yuva Vahini reportedly disturbed a prayer meeting and took the worshippers to the police station including the pastor. In another incident, two nuns were taken to the police station on similar false allegations of ‘religious conversion’.

The complaint reads, “The allegations moreover appear to be completely baseless, never mind that Article 25 of the Indian Constitution gives every Indian citizen the right to freely profess and practice he/his faith. Our interviews with many of those religious persons, women, reveal a disturbing pattern of vigilantism that clearly enjoys high degrees of immunity from the authorities.”

Incidents mentioned in the complaint

On October 10, a school principal Sister Gracy Monteiro, her colleague Sister Roshni Minj and their driver were attacked by some people in Mau, Uttar Pradesh. Sister Monteiro spoke to CJP’s sister organisation, SabrangIndia and said that a mob of Hindutva radicals, accosted her along with sister Roshni Minj, roughed up their driver and forcibly took the three to the police station where there were kept till 6 P.M.

Sister Monetrio said she kept asking the mobs who they were, and kept trying to prevent them from hitting the driver, a non-Christian, even as the mob continued verbally and physically abusing them, accusing the three of religious conversion. She further alleged, “There were just the three of us. I was accompanying Sister Minj who was going home to Ranchi to visit her dying father. As we did not get the direct bus, we went to the Mau bus stand and Sr Minj went to ask about the bus, while the driver and I stayed in the car. Then a mob came and attacked the driver, dragged him out, and forced us nuns to walk to the police station." 

On the same day, October 10, a regular Christian prayer service was attacked by a mob some of whom claimed to be activists of Bajrang Dal as well as Hindu Yuva Vahini. The group then forced the Christian worshipers, including the priest to the police station. According to the First Information Report (FIR) filed by one Radheshyam Singh the worshipers have been accused of forcing people to convert to Christianity through allurements, as well as “violating Covid-19 protocol, using musical instruments, consuming narcotics and other intoxicants.”

Impact

CJP’s complaint states that this is not an isolated incident and that there is an attempt by some goons to create fear psychosis to carry out such attacks every few days targeting common people belonging to one particular faith and dissuading them from worshipping their gods. A few days ago, CJP wrote to the National Commission for Minorities over various instances of attacks on churches, allegedly by right-wing outfits in Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh between October 2 and 3.

“This instance has gone a step ahead and the mob has attacked nuns who were simply waiting in a car at a bus stand. It was their clothes that gave away their religious identity and they were targeted only on the basis of their religious identity and false allegations of religious conversion were made. Clearly, these attacks had a motive of intimidating the members of the minority Christian community and creating an environment of fear psychosis on communal lines,” reads the complaint.

The complaint has also quoted Mahatma Gandhi who had said, “There are many religions as there are individuals; but those who are conscious of the spirit of nationality do not interfere with one another religion. If Hindus believe that India should be populated only by Hindus, they are living in a dreamland. The Hindus, the Mahomedans, the Parsees and the Christians who have made their country are fellow countrymen and they will have to live in unity if only for their own interest. In no part of the world are one nationality and one religion synonymous terms; nor has it ever been so in India”.

In a shocking display of unaccountability –and what amounts to making the victim pay as perpetrator, CJP has alleged that in one of these incidents the pastor and other members of the prayer congregation have been put behind bars by Mau Police on false allegations while they were merely offering prayers. This is against the basic values enshrined in our Constitution through Article 25 that gives everyone the right to freely practice their own religion. 

Prayers

Accordingly, we have urged the commission to conduct a full-fledged inquiry/investigation into these brutal and targeted attacks and publish a comprehensive report on it for widespread distribution in the country. Referring to the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992, CJP has also urged the commission to undertake studies into the various problems arising out of such discrimination against minorities and take up such matters with appropriate authorities and also seek information on the case registered against the Pastor and others by Mau Police. 

We have also requested NCM to ensure physical protection to members of the religious minorities in a state like Uttar Pradesh where a culture of violence-driven immunity appears to prevail, and issue an immediate statement –pending the deeper investigation/inquiry --condemning these attacks, urging police to take stringent action to ensure the immediate release of those innocent in custody. If necessary, we have also urged the commission to approach our courts for relief. 

The entire complaints may be read here: 

 

Related:

CJP writes to Minorities Commission over attacks on churches
NCM seeks report from DIG Meerut on CJP’s complaint against Yati Narsinghanand’s disciple

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Muslim boy had come to do "recce": Yati Narsinghanand 

The 10-year-old had wandered into the temple as he was new to the area, and didn't understand the "consequences" this could have had for someone from his religion 

14 Oct 2021

Yati Narsinghnand handing over a 10-year-old boy to the police

The recent incident of Yati Narsinghnand handing over a 10-year-old boy to the police for questioning brings back chilling memories of when a 14-year-old Muslim boy was beaten up by Narsinghanand's disciples in the Dasna temple premises for fetching water. 

There was a call for action against him then, and in many instances that followed thereafter, but Narsinghanand remains a free man, spreading communal hate with impunity. In fact, he receives the protection, reportedly, of over 50 policemen as he claims there is a conspiracy being hatched to eliminate him.

One cannot imagine the atmosphere of palpable fear that his actions must have created in the Dasna area and the areas surrounding it. 

This time around, he "caught" a 10-year-old Muslim boy who accidently landed in the temple premises, being new to the area and also, most importantly, being too young to understand the religious identity he was born into, and its consequences in a BJP ruled state.

The boy told police that he had come to the area to visit his pregnant sister-in-law admitted to the community health centre (CHC) adjacent to the temple, reported The Wire. The police say that they let him go after verifying the veracity of his statements.

Yati has released a video in which he claims, “Ye hamle ki tayari hai (this is in preparation of an attack)”. He further claims that the minor boy came to the temple to conduct a “recce” and states that “nobody has slapped the boy or anything”. In the video a cop can be seen holding the boy’s hand. The comments on this post on Instagram are as vile as it can get.

SabrangIndia's India’s sister organization, Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) has complained to Commissions and authorities multiple times against Narsinghanand, but to no avail.

Yati Narsinghanand has a history of inciting Hindus against the Muslim community and he has multiple disciples, who follow in the path so clearly paved by him, to spread the hatred in wider circuits. Shringi Yadav, Vikas Sehrawat, Kunal Sharma, Sukhdev Sahdev and Rambhagat Gopal are a few of his disciples who get in trouble with the law every now and then such as the infamous, derogatory and shameful “sulli deals” where Muslim women’s pictures were put up to auction them off; Gopal was involved in shooting at the Jamia Milia Islamia University in January 2020 and so on.

Related:

CJP approaches NCM against Yati Narsinghanand’s hate speech

Meet hate spewing ‘Sadhu’ Yati Narsighnanad

CJP takes steps to fight Yati Narsinghand hate speech

CJP moves NCPCR and NCM against assault on minor

Muslim boy had come to do "recce": Yati Narsinghanand 

The 10-year-old had wandered into the temple as he was new to the area, and didn't understand the "consequences" this could have had for someone from his religion 

Yati Narsinghnand handing over a 10-year-old boy to the police

The recent incident of Yati Narsinghnand handing over a 10-year-old boy to the police for questioning brings back chilling memories of when a 14-year-old Muslim boy was beaten up by Narsinghanand's disciples in the Dasna temple premises for fetching water. 

There was a call for action against him then, and in many instances that followed thereafter, but Narsinghanand remains a free man, spreading communal hate with impunity. In fact, he receives the protection, reportedly, of over 50 policemen as he claims there is a conspiracy being hatched to eliminate him.

One cannot imagine the atmosphere of palpable fear that his actions must have created in the Dasna area and the areas surrounding it. 

This time around, he "caught" a 10-year-old Muslim boy who accidently landed in the temple premises, being new to the area and also, most importantly, being too young to understand the religious identity he was born into, and its consequences in a BJP ruled state.

The boy told police that he had come to the area to visit his pregnant sister-in-law admitted to the community health centre (CHC) adjacent to the temple, reported The Wire. The police say that they let him go after verifying the veracity of his statements.

Yati has released a video in which he claims, “Ye hamle ki tayari hai (this is in preparation of an attack)”. He further claims that the minor boy came to the temple to conduct a “recce” and states that “nobody has slapped the boy or anything”. In the video a cop can be seen holding the boy’s hand. The comments on this post on Instagram are as vile as it can get.

SabrangIndia's India’s sister organization, Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) has complained to Commissions and authorities multiple times against Narsinghanand, but to no avail.

Yati Narsinghanand has a history of inciting Hindus against the Muslim community and he has multiple disciples, who follow in the path so clearly paved by him, to spread the hatred in wider circuits. Shringi Yadav, Vikas Sehrawat, Kunal Sharma, Sukhdev Sahdev and Rambhagat Gopal are a few of his disciples who get in trouble with the law every now and then such as the infamous, derogatory and shameful “sulli deals” where Muslim women’s pictures were put up to auction them off; Gopal was involved in shooting at the Jamia Milia Islamia University in January 2020 and so on.

Related:

CJP approaches NCM against Yati Narsinghanand’s hate speech

Meet hate spewing ‘Sadhu’ Yati Narsighnanad

CJP takes steps to fight Yati Narsinghand hate speech

CJP moves NCPCR and NCM against assault on minor

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J&K government directs Migrant staff not to leave Kashmir

The order states that any absence from duty will be dealt with as per service rules

13 Oct 2021

kashmir

Government employees who belong to the minority communities of Kashmir have been directed by the J&K government “not to leave the Valley as security has been tightened for them”. The order that was made public on Tuesday has directed the “Kashmiri migrant employees” to comply, else any “absence from duty will be dealt with as per service rules.”

The “migrant employees” here are understood to be members of the Kashmiri Pandit and Sikh communities who have recently faced horrific targeted attacks in the past few weeks. Many from the communities have reportedly moved out of the Valley and some more are likely to follow.

According to news reports, the divisional administration of Kashmir also directed the head of departments to post migrant employees in “safe and secure zones in Kashmir region.” Greater Kashmir reported that the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Pandurang Pole has issued directions to all Deputy Commissioners (DCs) of Kashmir division and Senior Superintendents of Police (SSPs) to do so. There are reportedly over 3,000 Kashmiri Hindu employees living in seven different transit camps in the Valley.

The order issued by Assistant Commissioner (Central) Aziz Ahmad Rather, issued after a security review meeting of deputy commissioners and SSPs chaired by Divisional Commissioner Pandurang K Pole in Srinagar stated, “The chair (divisional commissioner of Kashmir) directed that no migrant employee needs to leave the district/valley and whosoever will be absent (from duty) shall be dealt with as per service rules.”

Terrorism raised its ugly head in the Kashmir Valley yet again, when on October 2, terrorists killed Majid Ahmad Gojri and Mohammad Shafi Dar for their alleged links with the security forces in Srinagar. On October 5, militants killed well known businessman Makan Lal Bindroo, whose family set up a medical shop in the Valley back in 1947. He was gunned down at his shop in the high-security zone of the Iqbal Park area. Two other - Virendra Paswan a street food vendor originally hailing from Bhagalpur in Bihar, and Mohammed Shafi Lone a resident of Naidkhai village, who headed an association of taxi owners in Shahgund village in Bandipora - were also killed on October 5. Two days later, on October 7, two teachers, Deepak Chand, a Kashmiri Pandit and Satinder Kour, a Sikh woman, became the latest to fall to bullets of militants.

This spate of killings shows that terror groups, out to destabilise the region, are once again targeting people hailing from vulnerable minorities like Kashmiri Pandits (KP) and Sikhs. They are also not sparing patriotic and secular Muslims. In light of this new round of bloodletting, Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) and our partner organization in the Valley – Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS), had petitioned the J&K Lt Governor demanding that security be stepped up to protect our fellow Indians in Kashmir – be they Kashmiri Pandits, Sikhs or Muslims. The petition may be signed here.

 

Related:

Protect Minorities in Kashmir Valley: Sign CJP's Petition to J&K Lt Governor

Srinagar: Grief envelopes Valley as Supinder (Satinder) Kour’s last rites are performed

Killing three civilians, terrorists send a bloody message across Jammu and 

Jammu and Kashmir: Press Council of India to investigate intimidation of journalists 

Will events following Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s death impact Kashmir politics?

J&K government directs Migrant staff not to leave Kashmir

The order states that any absence from duty will be dealt with as per service rules

kashmir

Government employees who belong to the minority communities of Kashmir have been directed by the J&K government “not to leave the Valley as security has been tightened for them”. The order that was made public on Tuesday has directed the “Kashmiri migrant employees” to comply, else any “absence from duty will be dealt with as per service rules.”

The “migrant employees” here are understood to be members of the Kashmiri Pandit and Sikh communities who have recently faced horrific targeted attacks in the past few weeks. Many from the communities have reportedly moved out of the Valley and some more are likely to follow.

According to news reports, the divisional administration of Kashmir also directed the head of departments to post migrant employees in “safe and secure zones in Kashmir region.” Greater Kashmir reported that the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Pandurang Pole has issued directions to all Deputy Commissioners (DCs) of Kashmir division and Senior Superintendents of Police (SSPs) to do so. There are reportedly over 3,000 Kashmiri Hindu employees living in seven different transit camps in the Valley.

The order issued by Assistant Commissioner (Central) Aziz Ahmad Rather, issued after a security review meeting of deputy commissioners and SSPs chaired by Divisional Commissioner Pandurang K Pole in Srinagar stated, “The chair (divisional commissioner of Kashmir) directed that no migrant employee needs to leave the district/valley and whosoever will be absent (from duty) shall be dealt with as per service rules.”

Terrorism raised its ugly head in the Kashmir Valley yet again, when on October 2, terrorists killed Majid Ahmad Gojri and Mohammad Shafi Dar for their alleged links with the security forces in Srinagar. On October 5, militants killed well known businessman Makan Lal Bindroo, whose family set up a medical shop in the Valley back in 1947. He was gunned down at his shop in the high-security zone of the Iqbal Park area. Two other - Virendra Paswan a street food vendor originally hailing from Bhagalpur in Bihar, and Mohammed Shafi Lone a resident of Naidkhai village, who headed an association of taxi owners in Shahgund village in Bandipora - were also killed on October 5. Two days later, on October 7, two teachers, Deepak Chand, a Kashmiri Pandit and Satinder Kour, a Sikh woman, became the latest to fall to bullets of militants.

This spate of killings shows that terror groups, out to destabilise the region, are once again targeting people hailing from vulnerable minorities like Kashmiri Pandits (KP) and Sikhs. They are also not sparing patriotic and secular Muslims. In light of this new round of bloodletting, Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) and our partner organization in the Valley – Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS), had petitioned the J&K Lt Governor demanding that security be stepped up to protect our fellow Indians in Kashmir – be they Kashmiri Pandits, Sikhs or Muslims. The petition may be signed here.

 

Related:

Protect Minorities in Kashmir Valley: Sign CJP's Petition to J&K Lt Governor

Srinagar: Grief envelopes Valley as Supinder (Satinder) Kour’s last rites are performed

Killing three civilians, terrorists send a bloody message across Jammu and 

Jammu and Kashmir: Press Council of India to investigate intimidation of journalists 

Will events following Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s death impact Kashmir politics?

Related Articles


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Uttar Pradesh: Who are these Hindutva mobs prowling the streets, targeting minorities?

Over a dozen were targeted on Sunday, including two nuns, mobs accused them of conversion, thrashed, and marched them to police station

12 Oct 2021

Hindutva Mob
Representation Image | Hindustan Time

Sister Gracy Monteiro, a school principal, who belongs to the Mirpur Catholic Mission, her colleague Sister Roshni Minj, and their driver were attacked by a right-wing vigilante mob while boarding a bus to Varanasi. The mob dragged them to the police station after beating them up and abusing them.

The mob was reportedly a part of Hindutva groups such as the Hindu Yuva Vahini which have been gaining more ‘confidence’ that they are above the law in Uttar Pradesh and have begun prowling the streets as if looking for minority community members to victimise. On Sunday the group was prowling the streets of Mau, Uttar Pradesh, rounding up a group of Chritstians, accusing them of conversion and handing them over to the police. Members of the group remain behind bars two days later.

Then a smaller group, allegedly of the same mob, spotted the nuns’ vehicle and attacked them at the town’s bus station. These could have been dismissed as bizarre fake news if not for eyewitness accounts. Sister Grace Monteiro, who survived the attack, and the day at the police station, spoke in detail to SabrangIndia on the horror she witnessed and experienced on the streets of Mau.

She, a Ursuline Franciscan nun, had come to the city bus stand around noon, with her colleague Sister Minj, and school driver (name withheld to protect identity) when a mob of Hindutva radicals, dragged them out, roughed up the driver and forcibly took the three to the police station where there were kept till 6 p.m. Sister Monetrio says she kept asking the mobs who they were, and kept trying to prevent them from hitting the driver, a non-Christian, even as the mob continued abusing and attacking and accusing the three of religious conversion. The driver who has worked in the school for a long time, has not converted to Chritianity, and now was harassed and victimised for merely being with the sisters. At the police station they were held without  reason and later released, recalled Sr Monterio, only once she managed to contact the relevant authorities.   

“There were just the three of us. I was accompanying Sister Minj who was going home to Ranchi to visit her dying father. As we did not get the direct bus, we went to the Mau bus stand and Sr Minj went to ask about the bus, while the driver and I stayed in the car. Then a mob came and attacked the driver dragged him out, forced is nuns to walk to the police station,” she recalled, adding that they were perhaps identified as Chrtians because they were in the nun’s uniform of cream-coloured salwar kameez and the convent's name was painted on the side of their Bolero. 

“They said get out of the car, I asked them why. They started hitting our driver, and I told them not to hit us as I was going to answer whatever questions they had. They told us to ‘get out of the car and we will show you who we are’,” she recalled the mob took out the vehicle's key and made them walk to the police station. It was more shocking for her that no policeman intervened when the mob attacked.  

“We were in shock, this was sudden and unprovoked. Sister Minj was already under stress as her father is critical. I demanded that a policewoman come and we will not come with them. Even the police asked us ‘are you converting’.” It was hours later, that an inspector showed up and spoke to them, “We showed him all our proof. Even the photo of Sr Minj’s critically ill father. Then the inspector said it was by mistake that we were picked up.” However, while there were no apologies, the nuns say it was the most traumatic experience, and they demand an explanation.

Sister Minj, has just managed to reach her hometown to see her dying father, and Sister Gracy says she is still in shock but will file a complaint with the authorities soon. “Who were the two attackers. They have no right to attack us. I am against mobs, we have to complain. They have no right to attack. Who gave them the authority to ask her ‘who are you, where did you come from?’” she asked adding “We are also human beings, no? I objected to them berating my driver, they kept holding his collar. What kind of security, protection do we have? I do not have any safety to go out alone. Now we have to be careful.''

She said that while she was in stress at the moment, but, there was no fear. She said, “We are citizens of india. We are not doing something wrong. We have a lot of work. The entire day was wasted in the police station. Sister Minj lost money as her ticket was wasted. She had to travel the next day. I had identified the attackers to the lady police, but the cop asked me for the photo. But the police had put us in a room by then and that man who attacked was not seen again”. She says she will soon lodge a complaint with the relevant authorities and demand answers.  

Why were the vigilantes on the streets?

On Sunday October 10 a regular prayer service was attacked by a Hinduva mob  some of whom claimed to be activists of Bajrang Dal as well as Hindu Yuva Vahini. The group then forced the Christian worshipers, including the priest to the police station. According to reports, the Hindutva mob was accusing the group of ‘converting’  people. However, the devotees including one Vijendra Rajbhar, who spoke on video said they had been praying here regularly. According to the First Information Report (FIR) filed by one Radheshyam Singh the worshipers have been accused of  forcing people to convert to Christianity through allurements, as well as “violating Covid-19 protocol, using musical instruments, consuming narcotics and other intoxicants.”

Those arrested included Pastor Abraham Shakeel Ahmed, his wife Pratibha, Vijendra Rajbhar and Geeta Devi, the couple in whose house the worship took place. Rajbhar was then questioned on camera by ‘youtube journalists’, and he kept answering their leading questions and maintained that no forcible conversions were taking place and that the worship in his house had been a regular one. Even the pastor is heard saying in a video clip that anyone can attend the worship without discrimation and that they pray for those who are unwell or need any kind of support and prayer. The First Information Report alleges that the pastor and others ``insulted Hindu deities using abusive language,” reported MattersIndia, adding that the devotees also abused the prime minister and the Uttar Pradesh chief minister.”

 

According to local Christians those from the independent churches are the ones most easily targeted as vigilante mobs barge into house churches, and disrupt prayers, beating up the ones leading the prayers. Some pastors, who themselves often hail from poor families, often then go into hiding and some even stop preaching. There is a rise in some ‘media houses’ such as Hindi Net News, which often work as a ‘media wing of the vigilante groups. They often accompany the mobs and then ask questions which are accusations in themselves. The narrations in Hindi often stated, “People who were converting others in a house in Mau today were arrested by the police, after locals objected to such activities, police reached the spot and arrested the pastor, the owner of the house and started investigation.” They add to the mobs allegations such as “many gather and worship here.”  

SabrangIndia contacted the office of SP Mau Ghule Sushil Chandrabhan that declined to comment but confirmed that the accused were still in jail. Calls to the case’s investigating officer Inspector DK Srivastava went unanswered.

Related

Gujarat: Mob brutally attacks two teenage Madrasa students on a busy road
Indore: Police file FIR against Muslim family that was attacked 'for not leaving village'
Hate Watch: Was Sri Rama Sena Hindustan member allegedly paid Rs 5 lakh to kill 
Hate Watch: Gurgaon’s communal side; residents oppose Friday namaz 
Delhi: After defacing Akbar Road signboard, goons flee at the sight of cops
Indore: Muslim bangle seller beaten by mob, denied bail in molestation case
MP: Dargah blown up, allegedly by Hindutva mob
HW: Video of minor Hindu boy being lynched, shared as case of ‘Love Jihad’

Uttar Pradesh: Who are these Hindutva mobs prowling the streets, targeting minorities?

Over a dozen were targeted on Sunday, including two nuns, mobs accused them of conversion, thrashed, and marched them to police station

Hindutva Mob
Representation Image | Hindustan Time

Sister Gracy Monteiro, a school principal, who belongs to the Mirpur Catholic Mission, her colleague Sister Roshni Minj, and their driver were attacked by a right-wing vigilante mob while boarding a bus to Varanasi. The mob dragged them to the police station after beating them up and abusing them.

The mob was reportedly a part of Hindutva groups such as the Hindu Yuva Vahini which have been gaining more ‘confidence’ that they are above the law in Uttar Pradesh and have begun prowling the streets as if looking for minority community members to victimise. On Sunday the group was prowling the streets of Mau, Uttar Pradesh, rounding up a group of Chritstians, accusing them of conversion and handing them over to the police. Members of the group remain behind bars two days later.

Then a smaller group, allegedly of the same mob, spotted the nuns’ vehicle and attacked them at the town’s bus station. These could have been dismissed as bizarre fake news if not for eyewitness accounts. Sister Grace Monteiro, who survived the attack, and the day at the police station, spoke in detail to SabrangIndia on the horror she witnessed and experienced on the streets of Mau.

She, a Ursuline Franciscan nun, had come to the city bus stand around noon, with her colleague Sister Minj, and school driver (name withheld to protect identity) when a mob of Hindutva radicals, dragged them out, roughed up the driver and forcibly took the three to the police station where there were kept till 6 p.m. Sister Monetrio says she kept asking the mobs who they were, and kept trying to prevent them from hitting the driver, a non-Christian, even as the mob continued abusing and attacking and accusing the three of religious conversion. The driver who has worked in the school for a long time, has not converted to Chritianity, and now was harassed and victimised for merely being with the sisters. At the police station they were held without  reason and later released, recalled Sr Monterio, only once she managed to contact the relevant authorities.   

“There were just the three of us. I was accompanying Sister Minj who was going home to Ranchi to visit her dying father. As we did not get the direct bus, we went to the Mau bus stand and Sr Minj went to ask about the bus, while the driver and I stayed in the car. Then a mob came and attacked the driver dragged him out, forced is nuns to walk to the police station,” she recalled, adding that they were perhaps identified as Chrtians because they were in the nun’s uniform of cream-coloured salwar kameez and the convent's name was painted on the side of their Bolero. 

“They said get out of the car, I asked them why. They started hitting our driver, and I told them not to hit us as I was going to answer whatever questions they had. They told us to ‘get out of the car and we will show you who we are’,” she recalled the mob took out the vehicle's key and made them walk to the police station. It was more shocking for her that no policeman intervened when the mob attacked.  

“We were in shock, this was sudden and unprovoked. Sister Minj was already under stress as her father is critical. I demanded that a policewoman come and we will not come with them. Even the police asked us ‘are you converting’.” It was hours later, that an inspector showed up and spoke to them, “We showed him all our proof. Even the photo of Sr Minj’s critically ill father. Then the inspector said it was by mistake that we were picked up.” However, while there were no apologies, the nuns say it was the most traumatic experience, and they demand an explanation.

Sister Minj, has just managed to reach her hometown to see her dying father, and Sister Gracy says she is still in shock but will file a complaint with the authorities soon. “Who were the two attackers. They have no right to attack us. I am against mobs, we have to complain. They have no right to attack. Who gave them the authority to ask her ‘who are you, where did you come from?’” she asked adding “We are also human beings, no? I objected to them berating my driver, they kept holding his collar. What kind of security, protection do we have? I do not have any safety to go out alone. Now we have to be careful.''

She said that while she was in stress at the moment, but, there was no fear. She said, “We are citizens of india. We are not doing something wrong. We have a lot of work. The entire day was wasted in the police station. Sister Minj lost money as her ticket was wasted. She had to travel the next day. I had identified the attackers to the lady police, but the cop asked me for the photo. But the police had put us in a room by then and that man who attacked was not seen again”. She says she will soon lodge a complaint with the relevant authorities and demand answers.  

Why were the vigilantes on the streets?

On Sunday October 10 a regular prayer service was attacked by a Hinduva mob  some of whom claimed to be activists of Bajrang Dal as well as Hindu Yuva Vahini. The group then forced the Christian worshipers, including the priest to the police station. According to reports, the Hindutva mob was accusing the group of ‘converting’  people. However, the devotees including one Vijendra Rajbhar, who spoke on video said they had been praying here regularly. According to the First Information Report (FIR) filed by one Radheshyam Singh the worshipers have been accused of  forcing people to convert to Christianity through allurements, as well as “violating Covid-19 protocol, using musical instruments, consuming narcotics and other intoxicants.”

Those arrested included Pastor Abraham Shakeel Ahmed, his wife Pratibha, Vijendra Rajbhar and Geeta Devi, the couple in whose house the worship took place. Rajbhar was then questioned on camera by ‘youtube journalists’, and he kept answering their leading questions and maintained that no forcible conversions were taking place and that the worship in his house had been a regular one. Even the pastor is heard saying in a video clip that anyone can attend the worship without discrimation and that they pray for those who are unwell or need any kind of support and prayer. The First Information Report alleges that the pastor and others ``insulted Hindu deities using abusive language,” reported MattersIndia, adding that the devotees also abused the prime minister and the Uttar Pradesh chief minister.”

 

According to local Christians those from the independent churches are the ones most easily targeted as vigilante mobs barge into house churches, and disrupt prayers, beating up the ones leading the prayers. Some pastors, who themselves often hail from poor families, often then go into hiding and some even stop preaching. There is a rise in some ‘media houses’ such as Hindi Net News, which often work as a ‘media wing of the vigilante groups. They often accompany the mobs and then ask questions which are accusations in themselves. The narrations in Hindi often stated, “People who were converting others in a house in Mau today were arrested by the police, after locals objected to such activities, police reached the spot and arrested the pastor, the owner of the house and started investigation.” They add to the mobs allegations such as “many gather and worship here.”  

SabrangIndia contacted the office of SP Mau Ghule Sushil Chandrabhan that declined to comment but confirmed that the accused were still in jail. Calls to the case’s investigating officer Inspector DK Srivastava went unanswered.

Related

Gujarat: Mob brutally attacks two teenage Madrasa students on a busy road
Indore: Police file FIR against Muslim family that was attacked 'for not leaving village'
Hate Watch: Was Sri Rama Sena Hindustan member allegedly paid Rs 5 lakh to kill 
Hate Watch: Gurgaon’s communal side; residents oppose Friday namaz 
Delhi: After defacing Akbar Road signboard, goons flee at the sight of cops
Indore: Muslim bangle seller beaten by mob, denied bail in molestation case
MP: Dargah blown up, allegedly by Hindutva mob
HW: Video of minor Hindu boy being lynched, shared as case of ‘Love Jihad’

Related Articles


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