Saturday, June 25, 2005

Christian meet attacked in Rajasthan


A group of Hindu activists attacked a Christian gathering on 25 June 2005 at Jodhpur in Rajasthan, terming the meeting as a ploy to promote conversion to Christianity.

The incident happened at Parameswari Palace near St Andrew's Hall at Sardarpura in Jodhpur, where a youth festival was being organised. There were more than 60 youngsters who had come to take part in a session on peace and spirituality under the guidance of Fr Paul Matthew.

"I came from Bikaner to find the right path," said Mukesh Yadav, one of the participants.
He said he had paid a fee of Rs 150 for registration. "My father has already embraced Christianity. But I am yet to do so," he said.

According to him, more than 60 activists belonging to the Viswa Hindu Parishad, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Bajrang Dal gatecrashed into the venue and chased the participants away. "One of us received minor injuries," he added.

Sources said there was some confusion over the name of Fr Matthew, the resource person. "One Thomas Matthew was responsible for conversion in Kota and they mistook Fr Matthew for him," the sources said.

Jodhpur Superintendent of Police Ravi Meharda said, "We cannot say anything at this juncture. We are investigating the matter and nothing much could be said before we reach a conclusion." The police already recorded the statements from ten participants.