03/02/2017, 13.13
INDIA
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Madhya Pradesh, Hindu radicals interrupt a mixed marriage in a church

by Nirmala Carvalho

The radicals belong to the group of extreme right-wing Hindu Vahini. They accuse Christians of wanting to convert the groom, of Hindu religion. The couple was forced to postpone the wedding and celebrate with a Vedic ritual. The state has a law against forced conversions that discriminates against minorities.

 

Bhopal (AsiaNews) - A nationalist Hindu radical group broke into a church in the Shivpuri district in Madhya Pradesh, and interrupted a wedding that was being celebrated between a Christian woman and Hindu man.

Affiliates the Hindu Vahini have accused those present of trying to forcibly convert the groom. This despite the assurances by the latter, who had already had to overcome the families opposition to the union.

Speaking to AsiaNews, Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) has condemned "the serious violation of religious freedom, human rights and human dignity. India is a secular country, with a constitution that guarantees freedom of choice. The couple are of  legal age to join freely in marriage. "

The incident took place on 28 February. The two future spouses, Christian Avnish and Hindu Anukampa, were about to get married when the ceremony was interrupted. The police who arrived at the place, did nothing to prevent the extremists in this latest episode of abuse against minorities.

According to the Christian leader, "the police in Bhopal and the far-right group have carried out an illegal and criminal act, breaking into church and stopping the marriage. It is a shameful thing and GCIC condemns this violation in any way. The policemen involved should be investigated. The police are responsible for ruining the harmony between the communities ".

The Christian girl, dressed in the white, tried to mediate and explain the couple’s reasons. To avoid further consequences, the future spouses were forced to postpone marriage and decided that it will be celebrated in Indore according to the Arya Samaj ritual, of Vedic tradition.

In Madhya Pradesh, there is an infamous anti-conversion law, amended in 2013, punishing those who try to convert Hindus to Christianity. The Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act came into force in 1968 and prohibits conversions obtained by force or money.

However, this measure is used to persecute Christians, on  false allegations of forced conversions, and all those who decide to embrace religions other than Hinduism. Sajan K George adds: "With this law the fascist forces oppress and humiliate the tiny Christian population, even during a special event such as marriage." "What is more serious - he concludes - is that the police are saffronized and collaborate with Hindu extremists."

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