Catholics of Delhi archdiocese pray during an annual rally on Palm Sunday on April 9 last year. (Photo ucanews.com)
India(Delhi): A series of happenings in the New year threaten the very idea of India, the bishops said.
Catholic Bishops in India are saddened by “disturbing reports of an uncalled-for attack on Dalits in Pune” said an official statement from the Catholic Bishops Conference of India.
Groups carrying saffron flags allegedly attacked Dalits headed to the British-built memorial to those who died in the Koregoan battle of 1818, said the Press release quoting media reports.
“This annual event is suddenly under attack is an alarming sign and we condemn the violence unequivocally. We appeal for peace and harmony,” said the release signed by Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, secretary general of the conference.
Giving another instance of Hindu fanatic attacks in the New Year, it said Church-run St. Mary’s Post Graduate College is being threatened by pro Hindu Student wing ABVP) activists in Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh. It threatened to create trouble Jan 4.
The College has already been attacked once by these lumpen elements on 30th December 2017 who entered the college by scaling walls and demanding that a certain type of worship be enforced in the College. The attack took place in the presence of over 20 policemen who watched without acting, it alleged.
“This type of terrorism is unacceptable. This false nationalism must stop. That mobs of these type is worrying and disturbing,” said the bishops’ official.
During Christmas time three priests and some seminarians were attacked in a village in Satna. The attacking Bajrang Dal members were “so ruthless” that many were injured spectacles of three seminarians were broken. They also forced the seminarians to to say, Jai Sriram, Jai Bajrang Bali, the statement recalled.
A legislator from Utter Pradesh has been making dangerously communal statements including threatening to break the limbs of “cow killers” in the state.
Another legislator from Rajasthan has accused a particular community claiming that they bear more children as part of a plan to take control of India.
However, the statement also said the bishops see “a silver lining” in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slogan “sab ka saath, sab ka vikas” and his desire to work for all Indians.
The statement also thanked federal home minister Rajnath Singh for assuring Christians of safety during the Christmas. It specially recalled Singh issuing an advisory to all states “to ensure law and order during Christmas in the wake of fringe elements threatening some Christian community members against celebrating the festival.”
The administration need to “come down heavily on mobs of whatever colour or shade they may be. Groups and organizations indulging in violence or even threatening to take law into their hands should be dealt with severely,” the statement said.
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