Thursday, April 13, 2006

CBCI upset over treatment of minorities in Rajasthan

New Delhi, April 13 (UNI): The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), the apex body of the Catholic Church in India, has raised concern over the continued harassment of individuals associated with the Emmanuel Mission in Kota, Rajasthan.

In a statement here, the CBCI said the Emmanuel Mission, an independent Church being run by M A Thomas and his associates for the last 30 years, had done meritorious work in the development of society through its large number of orphanages, schools and homes for the elderly and disabled.

The Government honoured Dr Thomas with the Padma Shri in 2001 in recognistion of his services.

However, in recent days, the mission has come under repeated attack from right-wing political forces. Police have declared Dr Thomas an 'offender' and detained his son, Samuel Thomas, due to pressure from right-wing Hindu organisations.

"To let some organisations to intimidate and even paralyze the entire institutional network cannot be accepted as a civilized way of dealing with people and issues."

"Such harsh and even inhuman treatment meted out to the founders of such service-oriented institutions and the beneficiaries, most of whom belong to the marginalised of society, is nothing short of sheer high-handedness and bias against the Christian community," the CBCI said, asking the BJP Government of the state to ensure the rule of law and instil a sense of confidence in the minds of minorities.

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