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RAJASTHAN

CPI-M concern at rising attack on Christians

Friday 1 July 2005

Special Correspondent

Jodhpur incident latest in growing number of intrusions into Christian gatherings

JAIPUR: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has expressed concern over the growing incidence of attacks against Christians in Rajasthan. It has held the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Government in the State "responsible" for the violence unleashed against the community during the past 18 months by the Bajrang Dal, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

The State Secretariat of the CPI(M) in a statement released on Thursday said the Christians in Rajasthan were living in terror as they had been denied the right to practice their religion and assemble in churches.

Disturbing trend

The latest act of disturbing a Christian youth festival in Jodhpur by the VHP-Bajrang Dal activists was part of an agenda to terrorise and malign the whole community creating a bogey of conversions, it has alleged.

"Sometime back the police failed to book the criminal elements who unleashed terror on delegates who had come from different parts of the country to attend a convocation ceremony at the Emmanuel Mission International at Kota. In last week’s forced intrusion into a Christian gathering in Jodhpur also the police registered cases against the victims on charges of attempted conversion while they allowed the law breakers to go scot free,’’ Vasudev, Secretary of CPI(M) Rajasthan, said.

Vilification campaign

"Even while being a minuscule community in Rajasthan the contribution of Christians in the education sector is immense. It is unfortunate that they are targeted for a vilification campaign and even charged with indulging in spying activities,’’ Prof. Vasudev observed.

"The Constitutional rights of Christians to practice their religion are being challenged in Rajasthan,’’ he said.

The party leadership also expressed surprise over the tone and tenor of an enquiry report by the State Government on the Emmanuel Mission incident which charged the organisation with indulging in large-scale conversions and spying for foreign countries.

Appealing to all secular and democratic forces to come to the support of Christians, Prof. Vasudev warned the State Government that his party would take to the streets for the sake of minorities’ rights in Rajasthan.

See online : The Hindu

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