Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Protest against alleged missionary activity in Tirupati

Special Correspondent

TIRUPATI: The TTD's Administative Building here on Monday witnessed angry demonstrations by the BJP and the BJYM activists protesting against alleged distribution of religious literature among pilgrims by some Christian missionaries on board an APSRTC bus on Sunday evening even as they were returning to Tirupati after darshan of the Lord at Tirumala.

The incident apart, what provoked the Sangh Parivar units to resort to a sit-in was what they called the `callous and casual manner' in which the TTD's vigilance authorities reportedly let go scot-free the four persons whom the pilgrims on board the bus reportedly over-powered and handed over to vigilance guards at the Alipiri toll gate after the bus reached the foot of the hill.

Sangh Parivar demonstrators carrying placards and party flags blocked the main entrance to the TTD headquarters and sloganeering denounced the action of the missionaries.

The demonstrators did not lift the blockade until the police swooped down on them and arrested six senior party functionaries including the BJYM's state general secretary, G. Bhanu Prakash Reddy.

The BJP and the BJYM in separate statements expressed grave concern over the increasing overtures by the Christian missionaries to indulge in forcible conversions and religious propagation, especially under the present dispensation at the Centre and the State.

They also recalled in this connection a similar episode in the Government District Headquarters Hospital, Chittoor, less than a month ago wherein doctors and the staff of the hospital were reportedly caught distributing Christian literature, pictures etc among patients.

They demanded the immediate arrest of the four persons and blamed the TTD authorities and its employees for being negligent as not to check such brazen attempts by missionaries.

The party also criticised the police for using force on its activists though they were peacefully demonstrating against the incident and warned to intensify their agitation if the TTD failed to check such blatant incidents. All the arrested were later released.

Action sought

HYDERABAD: The BJP State unit has demanded that the Government take steps to arrest persons who are allegedly responsible for propagation of Christian faith in Tirumala.

K. Laxman, party general secretary, sought action against officials for adopting casual attitude and persuading the police to release some youth who were allegedly involved in preaching.

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