Monday, October 27, 2014

Bastar Christians attacked by right-wing activists

RAIPUR: After the controversial gram sabha resolutions banning non-Hindu religious activity in villages in tribal Bastar, there was fresh tension in Madota village after local Christians were assaulted allegedly by right-wing activists, leaving 12 people injured late on Saturday.

Eleven of the injured are still undergoing treatment at a hospital in Jagdalpur, where they were brought in a truck. While the police recorded their statement, senior civil and police officials are tight-lipped about the clash.

Chhattisgarh Christian Forum (CCF) president Arun Pannalal told TOI that the manner in which the attack was orchestrated raises suspicion that local officials were hand in glove with attackers.

"An announcement was made through drum beats that residents of Kotwar village should assemble at 9am on Saturday to meet the sub-divisional magistrate, deputy superintendent of police and town inspector to discuss ways to douse tension between the two communities. They waited till evening, but nobody turned up. By evening, right-wing activists came in a truck and attacked Christians, accusing them of promoting religious conversion," he said.

Quoting local Christians, Pannalal said, a week ago BJP MP Dinesh Kashyap had visited Bhanpuri village and me gram sabha t local Christians. The MP washed their feet and then made a public announcement that they had completed the process of "ghar wapsi" or home-coming to the Hindu fold. Since then tension has been brewing between Hindus and Christians over prayer meetings at the local church.

Pannalal said that Christian organisations have already moved high court challenging the resolutions adopted by the gram sabhas.

"Now our writ is pending in the high court. We see this latest attack as a pressure tactic," he said.

Tribal Bastar was in focus in May this year after a number of gram sabhas, powerful bodies under the provisions of Panchayati Raj Act, adopted resolutions under section 129 (G) of State Panchayati Raj Act, banning "non-Hindu religious propaganda, prayers and speeches in villages". 

Click here for source

12 Christians injured in Bastar assault

The Chhattisgarh Christian Forum (CCF) has alleged that 12 persons belonging to the community were seriously wounded in an assault by members of the Bajrang Dal in Bastar district’s Madota village on Saturday. District officials have registered an FIR.
“Christians had gathered in Madota village under Bhanpuri block of Bastar district on Saturday morning. The purpose was to discuss the district administration’s response to the petition filed by Christian bodies in the Bilaspur High Court over the ban on Christian missionaries in Bastar villages. The Sub-Divisional Magistrate and Deputy Superintendent of Police were also expected to be present. But no official turned up. Instead, around 30 to 40 Bajrang Dal members wearing saffron bands came armed with sticks and swords and attacked the Christians,” charged Arun Pannalal, president of the CCF.
Mr. Pannalal said those injured in the attack were admitted to a hospital in Jagdalpur.
However, the Bajrang Dal has denied it was involved in the attack.
“The allegations levelled against the Bajrang Dal are absolutely baseless. Some Hindus were invited by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate for a meeting in the village. Some pastors were also present without any invitation. The Hindus protested their presence which led to a scuffle,” Bastar region in-charge of Bajrang Dal, Mahesh Kashyap, told The Hindu.
The CCF has accused the district authorities of being “hand in glove” with the “right-wing elements.”
“No FIR has been registered in the case and our people have been forced to go into hiding due to the threat of the Bajrang Dal. The district authorities along with some right-wing elements are also pressuring us to withdraw the petition filed in the High Court against the ban on the entry of non-Hindu missionaries in Bastar,” claimed the CCF president.
 
Collector refutes charges

However, Bastar district collector Ankit Anand refuted the CCF’s allegations. “There was a clash between two groups in the village on Saturday and we have registered an FIR against the accused persons. The situation is under control. Medical assistance was provided to the injured people,” Mr. Anand said.

Click here for source

Reconversions in Uttar Pradesh


There have been reconversion reports from Uttar Pradesh on Hindi media but not on English. Below is a news story that came this week from Jaunpur where allegedly 310 Christians were converted into Hinduism. 



ईसाई बने 310 ने पुन: हिंदू धर्म किया अंगीकार

जौनपुर : भूत-प्रेत व अंध विश्वास में भटककर ईसाई बने 30 परिवार के 310 लोगों ने रविवार को पुन: हिंदू धर्म अंगीकार किया। नगर के तूतीपुर मोहल्ले में आदि गंगा गोमती के तट पर स्थित राधा कृष्ण मंदिर पर हवन-पूजन के बाद हनुमान चालीसा व मां दुर्गा जी का लॉकेट वितरित किया गया।
नगर समेत विभिन्न गांवों के कई परिवार के लोगों ने ईसाई धर्म स्वीकार कर लिया। वह बाइबिल, क्रास प्राप्त कर चर्चो में जाते थे। हिंदू नाम धारण किए छद्म पादरी लोगों को बीमारियों, भूत-प्रेत से मुक्ति दिलाने के नाम पर बहला-फुसलाकर धर्म परिवर्तन कराता था। सामूहिक स्थान के अलावा कई घरों में भी प्रार्थना सभा का आयोजन होता था।
इस बात की भनक लगते ही हिंदूवादी संगठन सक्रिय हो गए। कई माह के अथक प्रयास के बाद धर्म से भटके तीस परिवारों ने पुन: घर वापसी पर सहमति जताई। ग्राम देवता पूजन समिति डीह के संयोजन में सुनील कुमार बिंद, सलोग यादव ने घर वापसी कार्यक्रम का आयोजन किया।
कार्यक्रम में उपस्थित लोगों ने सामूहिक रूप से हवन में भाग लिया। प्रांत धर्म जागरण प्रमुख रमापति जी की मौजदूगी में पुजारी फजीहत महराज ने तुलसी, गंगा जल पिलाकर शुद्धीकरण किया। इसके बाद क्षत्रिय परियोजना के विभाग प्रमुख विमल सिंह ने हिंदू धर्म को अंगीकार करने वाले परिवारों से बाइबिल व क्रास लेकर उन्हें हनुमान चालीसा व दुर्गा लॉकेट का वितरण किया। समारोह में उपस्थित लोगों को संबोधित करते हुए विमल सिंह ने कहा कि हिंदुओं को छद्म पादरी बहला-फुसलाकर धर्म परिवर्तन करा रहा है। ऐसा नहीं होने दिया जाएगा।
नट-भाट परियोजना प्रमुख संतोष कुमार सेठ ने कहा कि अंग्रेजों को किसी तरह से हमारे पूर्वजों ने बाहर करके देश को आजादी दिलाई। आज फिर भाई-भाई को लड़ाने का कार्य किया जा रहा है। राष्ट्र को सामाजिक व भौगोलिक रूप से तोड़ने का प्रयास चल रहा है। जनमानस को सजग रहना होगा।
जाति-बिरादरी प्रमुख चंद्रबली बिंद ने कहा कि कथित पादरियों ने क्षेत्र के दो सौ हिंदू परिवारों का अंध विश्वास व छूआछूत का झूठा आडंबर फैलाकर धर्म परिवर्तन करा दिया। सरकार इन पादरियों के खिलाफ कार्रवाई करे।
हिंदू धर्म अंगीकार करने वाले प्रमुख लोगों में शंकर बिंद, कुसुमलता, मीना, जवाहर, सिकंदर बिंद, मनोज बिंद, राम दुलार, सुरेश, सतीश, शारदा देवी, कन्हैया लाल के अलावा कांशी राम आवास सिद्दीकपुर के दो, भंडारी, खुरचनपुर के दो परिवार, गोधना गांव के तीन, शिकारपुर के तीन परिवार के लोगों समेत 310 लोग हैं।
कार्यक्रम में प्रमुख रूप से बेचू बिंद, वीरू बिंद, छोटक बिंद, रमेश बिंद, महेश सोनी, सुरेंद्र यादव, राहुल कुमार सेठ, सुनील सोनकर, बलजीत सिंह, भूपेंद्र प्रताप सिंह, ठाकुर मनोज कुमार सिंह, मानचल सोनी, आशीष, राम प्रसाद, बृजेश कुमार आदि थे।

Source

310 लोगों ने की घर वापसी, ईसाई छोड़ दोबारा बने हिंदू

जौनपुर में चार साल पहले धर्म परिवर्तन कर ईसाई धर्म अपनाने वाले 30 परिवारों के 310 सदस्यों ने दोबारा हिंदु धर्म को अपना लिया है। उनका धर्म परिवर्तन ग्राम सेवा पूजन समिति की ओर से कराया गया। ब्राह्मणों ने हिंदू धर्म अपनाने वाले लोगों से बाइबिल का त्याग कराकर हवन पूजन करवाया। इसके बाद उन्हें गीता और हनुमान चालीसा दी गई।
कोतवाली थानाक्षेत्र के तुतीपुर मोहल्ले में रहने वाले करीब 30 परिवारों ने चार साल पहले हिंदू धर्म त्यागकर ईसाई धर्म को अपना लिया था। इसके बाद हिंदू संगठनों में हलचल पैदा हो गई थी। तभी से हिंदु संगठन उन्हें दोबारा घर वापसी कराने में जुट गए थे। इसका परिणाम यह रहा कि चार साल बाद इन लोगों ने दोबार हिंदू धर्म अपनाने का फैसला किया।
रविवार को तुतीपुर घाट पर बने मंदिर पर सभी ईसाइयों को बुलाया गया और इन्हें हिंदू धर्म में शामिल कराया गया।
नट/भाट परियोजना के प्रमुख संतोष सेठ का कहना है कि आज हमारी प्राचीन परम्पराएं पश्चिमी सभ्यता के कारण खतरे में है।
चार साल पहले ईसाई धर्म अपनाने वाले मनोज बिंद ने बताया कि अपने परिवार के आठ सदस्यों के साथ उन्होंने भी धर्म परिवर्तन कर ईसाई धर्म को अपना लिया था। लेकिन बाद में ग्राम सेवा पूजन समिति की तरफ से चलाए जा रहे घर वापसी पूजन कार्यक्रम की वजह से हमने दोबारा हिंदु धर्म अपना लिया।

Source



Saturday, October 25, 2014

State’s caste census will be inquisitive about conversions

The proposed caste census has already made the dominant vote-banks of Lingayats and Vokkaligas restless, apprehensive as they are that it will lead to their fragmentation and thereby weakening them as a political force. Now, the census by the Karnataka Backward Classes Commission (KBCC), aggressively backed by chief minister Siddaramaiah, is set to rub the minorities too in the wrong way.

First, they will be asked whether they have ever been converted from one religion to the another at any point in time. Every citizen - whether Muslim, Christian, Parsi, Sikh, Buddhist or any other minority community - will also be asked what the 'traditional occupation' of their ancestors was before the conversion. There will be multiple questions on these two issues to ensure the answer is elicited, one way or the other.
The census questions on conversion could turn into a weapon for the right-wingers of all religions, as proselytising and traditional occupations - like that of the barbers - are highly sensitive issues. So does a 'secular' government need these answers? The official stand is that the commission and the state government have taken a calculated risk to get actual numbers of each sub-caste and profession, so that sufficient funds in budgets and allocations can be given to each community. It does have a fatal flaw: Individuals can claim to have belonged to any caste retrospectively, but there will be no way of verifying it.
This survey will also not certify that an individual belongs to a certain caste or community.
The Lingayats and Vokkaligas fear that the real intent is to undermine their hegemony and instead catapult the Kurubas, which is the community Siddaramaiah belongs to, as the No.1 caste. This is because the census will ask the question: Is your caste known by any other name?"This is likely to fragment both the major communities, leaving the more people under the Kuruba name tag.
The Kurubas, as also many other OBCs, are evidently gung-ho, as they feel a re-enumeration would show their "actual" strength and garner more benefits for them. This is true of other backward castes also. For example, former CM, the late S Bangarappa, was of the opinion that if the hunter community, known under different names like Beda, Jeda or Valmiki, could be put together, they would form the single largest community in the state.
There is a column asking the sub-caste. So non-homogenous castes where different sub-castes occupy different traditional professions will show up, like the Kaadu Kurubas and Jenu Kurubas, who are forest gatherers rather than shepherds, the traditional profession of Kurubas. Sources say that a total of 1,077 castes will come under the census.
KBCC chairman H Kantharaj told Bangalore Mirror: "Muslims as a religious group are categorised in 2B. But some of them are also classified under 2A based on their traditional occupation. For example, Pinjaras and Chapparbands are caste groups based on professions. We are trying to get these numbers right."
Siddaramaiah had set aside a sum of Rs 21 crore as deputy CM in 2004-05 budget for the census, but it never took off. Now, his government has released Rs 117 crore for the purpose and nearly 1.25 lakh enumerators will do the survey across the state in November and December, a far cry from the simple day-long survey conducted by Telangana recently to identify inhabitants of their state.
Kantharaj said this would be the most exhaustive census ever. "It will also have columns for inter-caste marriages, for people who say they have no caste and also for those who identify themselves as the third gender," he said. Further, he added: "A single caste is known by several different names (like the hunter community cited above). So the question after asking the caste name is, whether it is known by another name."
The chairman said the CM has made it clear that the census should follow the Supreme Court guidelines. "This census will cover the social and educational data that shows the economic condition. Plus it will collect information of political backwardness of the people as well. Land ownership and even ownership of animals will be counted. Even data on why there are school dropouts and why there is a difference between rural and urban education will be collected."
He contended that this census was not just a job, but a noble mission. "The CM has said that it should be very meticulous. Every department of the government will benefit from this census."
Digitised data from this census should be available by April 2015, mid-way through the term of the present Congress government. Data collected would include occupation, income, expenditure, immovable assets, availability of drinking water facilities and so on.
S Japhet, director, Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, National Law School of India University, who was part of the expert committee which framed the questions, said, "The common perception is that castes and religions are homogenous. But it is not the case. Take the Jains for example. We tend to think all of them are rich people from Rajasthan or Gujarat. But in reality, the economic status of a Jain from Tumkur or Belgaum is no different from his neighbours from other castes." Japhet added that the enumerators need to be sensitive in asking questions.

POLITICAL CASTES UPSET The inclusion of the sub-caste has already upset many political castes who see it as an attempt to divide their unity. When the per cent of each sub-caste is revealed, it may lead to more fragmented caste politics, they feel. But Japhet said: "You cannot wish away these things in India. Even if you want to annihilate caste, you first need to recognise them as realities and deal with them with sincerity." Japhet said that the caste census will be a "major breakthrough in understanding the social structure," of Karnataka's society. Earlier, the state government had appointed commissions which did sample surveys and came up with percentage estimates for castes. However each of them from the Venkataswamy Commission, Havanur Commission and the Chinnappa Reddy commission were challenged by various caste groups. "These sample surveys have been challenged so many times and no one is ready to agree that any of them is proper," said Japhet.
 
Click here for source


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Karnataka govt rejects commission report on church attacks


The Congress government in Karnataka has rejected a final report of the Justice B K Somashekhara inquiry commission into a series of attacks on churches and Christian institutions in coastal Karnataka in September 2008 shortly after the BJP came to power in the state.
The decision to reject the final report of the Justice B K Somashekhara commission was taken by the Siddaramaiah government at a Cabinet meeting on Thursday evening.  Law minister T B Jayachandra stated after the meeting that the inquiry commission’s report was rejected on account of a disparity between an interim report of the commission and the final report.
In its final report, the Justice B K Somashekhara commission had exonerated right wing groups like the Bajrang Dal of involvement in the attacks. In its interim report the commission had stated that there was evidence to indicate involvement of the right wing groups in the attacks.
The law minister stated that the state government had decided to accept a report on the church attacks made by the National Human Rights Commission following an inquiry where it found right wing groups to be involved.  The government would order prosecution of those involved in the attacks on the basis of the NHRC report the cabinet had decided, Jayachandra said.
The church attacks in coastal Karnataka occurred shortly after the BJP came to power in Karnataka in May 2008. The BJP government lead by B S Yeddyurappa had set up the Justice B K Somashekhara commission to investigate the attacks.
In an interim report placed before the government in September 2009 the commission found involvement of right wing groups like the Bajrang Dal in the attacks since Bajrang Dal leaders had held a press conference to claim responsibility for vandalizing churches in the Mangalore region.
In its 2011 final report the Justice Somashekhar commission changed its stance and stated that an impression of Sangh Parivar involvement in the church attacks was falsely created to tarnish the image of the BJP government.
While accepting the NHRC report on the church attacks the state cabinet has also accepted nine recommendations in the NHRC report including payment of compensation to those injured in the attacks and protection for places of worship of minority communities.

Click here for source

Love Jihad and targetting of religious minorities - John Dayal

The recent outpouring of support for the “development” agenda of the Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, by several leaders of the Catholic and Protestant churches may possibly stave off the immediate attention of the dreaded Intelligence Bureau and the Ministry of Home affairs, but it is not likely to reduce the deep and seemingly abiding distrust the Indian political and social system has of what is popularly called the “Missionaries”. Nor will it mitigate the hate that is now erupting in India against religious minorities.
Missionaries was a term once used in the Indian subcontinent to describe clergy, religious and social workers who came in various periods over three centuries from Italy, Spain, France, the United Kingdom and later from the United States. They set up schools and hospitals, and mission stations, in the hills, plains and deep forests of much of the Indian land mass.
The coming of foreign, and almost entirely White, religious personnel stopped soon after World War II, but there was still a sizable number in the country at Independence. In 1993 there were just 1,923, and by 2001, it had come to just a little more than half of that, at 1100 registered foreign missionaries in India. We have no official data for 2013-14, but estimates vary from 200 to 500, some of them Indian nationals. Most of them have lived in India for periods ranging from 20 years to 60 years.
This is far removed from the image that the Sangh Parivar, and the government, paints of a land teeming with western missionaries. But since the 1960s, it is impossible for any priest or Nun to get a “Religious Visa” to India, and many who come here on tourist visas have to sign papers at Indian consulates that they will not indulge in any religious activity in India. Only rarely is a visa given to Tele Evangelists for “Crusades” or mass prayers.
But it will not be entirely correct to suggest that it is just the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh and its political face the Bharatiya Janata Party that oppose mission work on grounds of ideology and relgion. The larger Indian political leadership, both in the Congress and in other parties including those emerging from the socialist movement of Mr. Ram Manohar Lohia of North India have seen the community as an appendage of the British Raj. The leader of the Freedom struggle, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, already called a Mahatma and later formally named the Father of the Nation, had serious doubts about missionaries. E. Stanley Jones, Stanley Jones in is book The Christ of the Indian Road, records an encounter with Gandhi who he asked “though you quote the words of Christ often, why is it that you appear to so adamantly reject becoming his follower?” Gandhi’s reply was clear: “Oh, I don’t reject your Christ. I love your Christ. It is just that so many of you Christians are so unlike your Christ”.Gandhi’s statement moulded the political discourse in Independent India.
The Constitution of India promulgated in 1950 nonetheless gave Christians the right not just to profess and practice their faith, but also to propagate it, with some law givers stressing that propagation of faith was integral to the religion. But among the first acts of the government was to withdraw affirmative action from untouchable groups other than those professing the Hindu faith. The issue has agitated the community ever since.
The absolute ban on freedom of faith of this 16 to 20 per cent of the population was ostensibly to prevent their walking into Christianity, or rarely, into Islam. 
The bane of the Christian community has been the anti-conversion laws, ironically called Freedom of Religion Acts which brought the State firmly into a process that was otherwise between a person and his conscience. Six states have these laws on board, another has enacted but not yet implemented it. The BJP has said in its election campaign it intends to make this a national law. Governmental permissions and severe penalties are the cutting edge of these laws. Political parties, barring perhaps the Marxists, and even the Supreme Court of India tend to agree to the need to the anti conversion laws. The United Nations Human Rights Council, European Union and international freedom of faith organisations have called them a grave violation of the UN Charter on fundamental human rights.
The premise that no one converts unless he is being lured, cheated or coerced into Christianity – or Islam – is now a major political slogan in the Bharatiya Janata party’s mission to control every regional government after coming to power in New Delhi in May 2014. And it is targetted as much against Muslims and it is against the Christian community.
The Muslim community has been the object of suspicion after the Partition of India in 1947, which saw unprecedented violence, that has left an unspoken but virulent Islamophobia in Indian society. The recent acts of terror in India have deepened this chasm between the communities.
This officially sanctioned suspicion, and from it the political hate, underpins the current campaigns by the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh and its subsidiaries which target both the Christian and the Muslim communities, specially in north and Central India.
A new dimension has been added this year in the electoral rhetoric of the BJP in its very successful run up to the General elections earlier this year, and elections to the legislative assemblies of several states in north and west India. This is a campaign to evoke fears in the highly patriarchal feudal societies in rural India that the security and sexual purity of their women is being threatened by young Muslim and Christian men.
It began innocently enough in Kerala with the state High court asking the police of there was a design in several cases of inter-community marriages, in which the men were almost always Muslim. The police could not find any design and the matter seemed to have ended, till now when it erupted in far away north India. But now, the police are on the side of local political thugs, and both seem acting under the patronage and protection of powerful leaders in New Delhi.
Love Jihad, as it is called, has been presented as a grand design in which Hindu young women are seduced by Muslim in Christian men, lured into marriage, and the converted in a conspiracy to alter the demographic profile of “Hindu” India.
The result has been the hounding of young men, and the humiliation of young Hindu women in areas as distant from each as Meerut in Uttar Pradesh and Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh. In Madhya Pradesh, the district police chief “annulled” the marriage of a Christian man and a Hindu woman under pressure of a Hindutva mob. 
 The governments of the states, and more than that, the federal government in New Delhi headed by the Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, have maintained an intriguing silence, with no official condemnation of this criminal intimidation of young couples in love. This has led civil society groups to believe that the hate campaign has the blessings of the ruling dispensation in the country. The inaction of the superior courts and the national Human Rights commissions in failing to take cognisance of these extra-judicial intrusions into the personal life of citizens compounds the crisis.

Friday, October 10, 2014

MP Christians’ meet: Police notice to organiser asks if involved in terror, criminal activities

After refusing permission for an annual Christian gathering in Jobat, Alirajpur, the Madhya Police have served a notice on the organiser asking whether his organisation was involved in terror, criminal or anti-social activities among other things.

Jhabua-based Moksha Foundation had organised a gathering in Jobat from October 6-9, but the Alirajpur administration refused permission because a marriage between a Christian man and a Hindu woman had caused communal tension.

On Tuesday, foundation president Kapil Sharma was asked by the police to fill up personal information like name, address, passport number and political association among 20 points listed in a one-page document.

The second document sought information about the organisation: like the source of funding; whether involved in terror or criminal activities; details of members, including foreigners; and a clear note on the actual inclination of the organization (religious, political, social or communal).

A similar exercise had caused a furore in 2011 when the police in some districts sought to collect details of Christian organisations in a similar format. In the wake of protests by the minority community which dubbed the exercise as community profiling, the state police headquarters had claimed that the circular was issued by a mistake.

Jhabua SP Krishnaveni Desavatu told The Indian Express that it was a routine exercise. “Maybe the local police did not have information about the organization. They normally collect such information from active and inactive organisation. There is nothing to worry,” she said.

Sharma said never in the past had he been asked to provide information about himself and the organisation. He said he would reply in a couple of days but took offence to the type of questions.

Spokesperson of Catholic Bishops Conference, Madhya Pradesh, Fr Johny P J said the Catholic community would challenge the exercise if it was ordered by the administration. “Normally the police resort to such steps under pressure from right-wing organisations,” he said.

Click here for source

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Letter denying permission in Alirajpur

Letter to organizers of the Christian meeting in Jobat

Monday, October 06, 2014

Now, MP town denies permission for Christian convention under pressure from Hindutva brigade

After declaring a marriage between a Christian man and a Hindu girl invalid, the local administration in Jobat, Alirajpur, has refused permission to the minority community to hold an annual gathering on the ground that it was likely to “disturb peace”.
The four-day gathering organized by All India United Christian Front (AIUF) and Moksha Foundation (MF) was supposed to start from Monday at an agricultural field which is two kilometers away from Jobat town. 
The town earlier saw protests by right-wing organizations after a Christian man married a Hindu girl.
The police administration had declared as invalid the marriage between Joseph Pawar and Ayushi Wani, both major, who tied the knot at an Arya Samaj temple in Bhopal.
The 5th Massihi Atmik Jagruti Sabha had been planned in advance but the administration first cancelled the permission on September 30 after Hindu organizations threatened to begin an indefinite protest from October 1 till the couple was not traced and the woman restored to her parents.
While denying the permission, SDM (Jobat) Sharda Chouhan in a letter to Kapil Sharma, who is founder of MF and state head of AIUF said if the meet was held “Wani Samaj and Hindu Sangathan(s) could commit some cognizable offence.” The SDM quoted an input by the in-charge of the Jobat Police Station behind the refusal.
The couple was traced and brought to Jobat on October 1, the day Hindu organizations enforced a complete bandh but withdrew the call for indefinite protest. Ayushi told the administration that she loved Joseph and refused to go back to her parents. While she was sent to Nari Niketan in Ujjain, Joseph was escorted to Indore.
Thinking that the matter had been resolved, Sharma again wrote to the SDM seeking fresh permission for the meet. He said invites had been sent to followers weeks in advance and it would be difficult to stop them from coming to Jobat.
Sharma told The Indian Express that on Sunday he got a call from the SDM to convey the administration’s decision that the permission for the meet remained cancelled because the atmosphere was still charged.
Chouhan informed that the ‘mahaul’ was not conducive for the gathering of Christians and that the permission had been denied because it could have become a law and order issue. “What if something goes wrong? Then we will be blamed for having allowed the meet to take place” she said adding tempers were still running high. She said the venue (agriculture field) suggested the meet was planned at a larger scale.
Sharma said that he would challenge the denial of permission in a court of law because the minority community’s constitutional right was being violated.
Fr Anand Muttungal of Isai Mahasangh slammed the Alirajpur administration saying security concern was an excuse. “How could permission be refused for a peaceful meet that could have taken place inside a church,” he asked dubbing the cancellation as “deliberate”.
Refusing the allegation by right-wing organizations that people are converted during the annual meet, Sharma’s letter to the SDM said “no one has been converted in the last four meets and no one will be converted in future.”

Click here for source