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HENB | Hisar | March 16, 2015:: Tension prevailed in a village named Kaimri in Haryana’s Hisar district on Monday after an under-construction church was attacked and razed to ground by the orthodox Hindu villagers with sharp retaliation against Christian conversion and propaganda in a village where entire population is Hindu.
The activists of Bajrangdal and some pro Hindu supporters of Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and Indian National Lok Dal (INDL) took part in the thunderstorm protest and hoisted a Bajrang Flag atop. Earlier, an idol of a Hindu god ‘Bajrangvali’ was placed inside the premises on March 6, as reported. The villagers damaged the cross at the church and allegedly took away some other items. The police later took away the Hanuman idol and a red-coloured flag related to Lord Ram from the premises to prevent the situation from getting out of hand.
Police officials said on Monday that 14 people were booked for rioting, damaging place of worship, theft and promoting enmity following a complaint lodged by the church priest on March 13 in Kaimri village in Hisar district, 260km from here. No arrests have been made so far.
The priest told media that certain activists of the Bajrang Dal and others had threatened him earlier. He alleged that the same people could be behind the attack on the church. “I was threatened by Bajrang Dal activists and other locals last month,” the priest, Subhash Chand, said. But, paying no attention to probable Hindu repercussion, the moron priest was determined to complete the ‘illegal’ construction of the church.
Local residents in the village alleged that the priest was trying to construct the church despite the fact that there was no Christian in the entire village. Villagers said that the church priest had bought the plot to build a house but he started converting it into a church. They alleged that the priest was trying to convert people in the village and surrounding areas.
The local villagers have called a panchayat (village council) meeting on Monday to discuss the incident. They are likely to oppose any arrests of locals. “The priest is unnecessarily trying to complicate matters. He has got the case registered against some former sarpanches (village headmen) and others, whom we do not even know. He was illegally constructing the church in the village and vitiating the atmosphere through conversions,” a village resident said.
Sources said villagers were angry over the priest’s alleged efforts to convert some of the local residents. Police have registered a case against 14 people named by the priest and started investigation into the matter. But no arrests have been made so far. A panchayat was held in the village and the members decided to take the issue to the deputy commissioner of Hisar district. They claimed the priest, Subhash, had bought the piece of land to build a house but started constructing a “Williwarsh Church-Believers Group” instead.
“Williwarsh Church- Believers Group” is a Christian denomination with congregations and parishes across the world.
The complainant stated that the accused fragmented the cross and installed the statue of Hanuman and a flag depicting Lord Ram and threatened to kill him.
President of All India United Christian Front Sukhdev said, “This is a matter of shame that the villagers demolished a church. We will hold a press conference in Hisar soon and request the SP to take action against the culprits”. Village sarpanch Dalbir Singh told, “There is not even a single Christian family in Kaimri village. Priest Subhash is trying to convert some of the families by luring them with money, food and other facilities.“
“The villagers who have been booked by the police on the complaint of the priest were not involved (in razing the structure). The land where the church was being built was bought by him (priest) from some society and it had even issued a notice to him about the illegal construction of the church. The priest is engaged in occult practices for conversion,” Dalbir alleged.
“Bajrang Dal people had come to us few months back. They asked us if we had given permission for a church. I told them we had allowed a house to be built,” he said. Asked about the flag on the church wall, the villagers refused any knowledge about it. One of them said some children must have hoisted it.
Reacting to this, Delhi Catholic Archdiocese Father Savarimuthu said the attacks have increased under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and there is fear among the community.
Father Subhash Chand of Williwarsh church lodged a complaint against 14 people, following which a case was registered by police under sections 147 (Punishment for rioting), 153A (promoting enmity between groups), 295 (destroying, damaging a place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class of persons), 380 (theft in a building), 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC.
Mangali police post in charge and investigation officer Ramesh Kumar said, “A case has been registered against Anil Godara, Dalbir Singh, Rajkumar, Kuldeep, Satpal, Krishan Kumar, Suresh, Dinesh, Joginder, Kulwant, Sudhir, Bijender, Satyanaryan and Choturam. Police are probing the matter.” The FIR named Dalbir Singh is the Sarpanch of the village.
According to the villagers, the area is predominantly a Hindu village and there are several temples around where this church is located. There are no Muslim or Christian families as per the villagers. It has been reported that the Christian priest used to criticize Hindu Gods and Goddesses and habituated to allure Hindu villagers by saying, “Europe is rich due to Jesus and Christianity. Embrace Jesus or otherwise all the Hindus will go to hell“.
The priest skirted the issue when asked whether he had the permission to build the church, saying, “I am on my way to Ambala for some work. Our senior priest will talk about this matter. I was out when some villagers demolished the wall of the church. I informed the police, who registered a case against 14 people. The village has two or three Christian families.“
However, he refused to share contact details of his senior priest. DC of Hisar Chandershakher Khare, said, “No one has come to me so far with any complaint. However, I know about the incident and also that some villagers have met the local police with their complaint. Administration will take action according to law.”
The village ‘Kaimri’ is a stronghold of INLD which was an alliance of BJP in 2009 and now is the chief opposition in Haryana Assembly. Haryana has a BJP government since October last year.
As per OM (Operation Mobilization) project, huge Christian funds are coming to India from Vatican and some countries under European Union to construct at least one Church in each Pin Code (Postal Index Code) area in India.
___with additional input from TOI & IBN.