There have been reports of multiple attacks on Christians on Christmas Eve, alleging conversion. Incidents of religious hatred have come to the fore in Uttarakhand as well as in Gujarat. In Chhattisgarh, allegations of tribal Christians being thrown out of their homes have come to the fore. In this incident, there is again controversy in the country. Many have taken to the net to raise the issue of one attack after another on minorities during the Narendra Modi era.
A group of at least 30 people attacked a Christmas function in Purola village of Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand, alleging that the process of conversion was underway. The attackers had sticks in their hands. The police have arrested 6 people since the commotion started. Among those 6 people are a priest named Lazarus Cornelius and his wife Sushma who were attacked by the attackers. The affected pastor is a member of the Union Church in Missouri. They went to participate in Christmas prayers.
The attackers claimed that they were members of a Hindutva organization. Those who belonged to the organization were arrested and later released. The police claim that all the problems have been resolved peacefully.
In the BJP-ruled state, the ruling party recently introduced an anti-conversion bill in the assembly. After that bill was passed, it was sent to the governor for assent. Locals claim that this is not the first time, there have been attacks on minority Christians and Muslims in the state before.
On the other hand, in Baroda, Gujarat, a person was attacked as Santa Claus. The victim went to meet some people in a colony in Makarpura. He was distributing chocolates there. Some residents of the colony objected to the distribution of chocolates citing the religious identity of the person. After this, the dispute started between the two communities. It is alleged that the person was attacked because of that.
Inspector Solanki of the local police station said that after the incident on Tuesday, some Christians approached the police and asked for security that night. Solanki claimed that all kinds of help have been assured to those people. Apart from this, he said, no complaint has been lodged regarding the incident of disturbance.
Aggrieved tribal Christians have joined the protest outside the Narayanpur District Magistrate’s office. Protesters in 14 villages claim they are being beaten and evicted for converting.
Yesterday, BSP chief Mayawati came out against politics in the name of religion. He said that the trouble being created for conversion is of considerable concern. Along with Christmas wishes, Mayawati hopes that peace and harmony will prevail among people of all religions.
Incidentally, this is not the first incident of attack on minorities. Earlier, BJP MP Tejashwi Surya called for ‘Ghar Wapsi’ to Christians and Muslims. However, in the face of strong criticism, Surya withdrew his statement.
There was also concern in various quarters about the hate speech against minorities in the Dharma Sangsad. In Haridwar as well as in Ghaziabad and even in the capital city, strict action was not taken against Jati Narasimhananda despite his anti-minority comments.