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  • » 07/05/2007, 00.00

    INDIA

    In Madhya Pradesh government behind anti-Christian attacks

    Nirmala Carvalho

    In a public statement, senior Congress leader and former minister Ajay Singh accuses the Bharatiya Janata Party that since it came into power attacks by extremists against Christians and their institutions have risen as part of its saffronisation policy.

    Mumbai (AsiaNews) – Senior Congress Party leader and former minister Ajay Singh has accused Hindu extremists of targeting Christians, their institutions and places of worship at the behest of the government of the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, which is run by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

    In a statement released yesterday in the state capital of Bhopal, Mr Singh said the BJP was frustrated because of the legal challenges faced by the Freedom of Religion Act, better known as the anti-conversion law that was amended by the state assembly last year and which bans all conversions obtained by force or fraud, but is usually used against Christian influence in Indian society.

    Citing last Monday attack against Rev Amos Singh, his school and church in Arjun Nagar in Rewa district, the Congress Party leader said that although “the police have registered a case [. . .] no action was taken so far. This has encouraged the accused to roam freely through the city terrorising the members of the community.”

    According to Singh, since the BJP came to power in the state not only members of Christian community have been being assaulted but their religious and educational institutions have been targeted. This is part of a strategy to make them feel insecure and help the Sangh Parīvār “protect” India’s Hindu identity. The latter is an umbrella organisation that brings together various groups promoting hindutva or Hindu nationalism.

    Mr Singh, who blames Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for the situation, urges him to recreate a climate of peace and respect for Christians and all other minorities.

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    See also

    04/11/2005 INDIA
    Some 200 episodes of anti-Christian violence in 2005 in India
    All India Catholic Union deplores the situation, especially bad in states ruled by the fundamentalist BJP. Union government is urged to ensure young Christians education and work

    11/04/2007 INDIA
    Uttar Pradesh vote to decide India’s future
    Over the next month or so Uttar Pradeshis will vote in state elections. With one seventh of all the seats in the lower house of parliament, their state is crucial for the balance of power in Delhi. The ballot is taking place at a time of economic and social crisis. Experts expect the election to be decided by a few votes.

    23/04/2007 INDIA
    Christians and Hindus clash over land
    Hindu extremists organise demo today calling for land purchased by Christians be returned to Tribals. Missionaries use revenue raised from the land to provide education and improve living conditions of the local population, something extremists do not want, says bishop of Raipur.

    12/12/2007 INDIA
    More than 500 cases of anti-Christian violence in 23 months
    Members of the Church, believers and places of worship have been victimised. A Christian group has collected the evidence and has slammed the collusion and protection with Hindu nationalists. Now it wants the central government act against the violence which is “worse than terrorist attacks.” The bishop of Vasai calls on believers of every faith to work together for human rights.

    06/09/2004 INDIA
    In his first press conference PM Singh says he is "against all forms of fundamentalism"

    Prime Minister rejects accusations he is Sonia Gandhi's "puppet".





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