Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Priest arrested in Mumbai

By James Varghese
Special to ASSIST News Service
MUMBAI (BOMBAY), INDIA (ANS) -- Bajrang Dal activists handed over to Mumbai police a church father on charges of "forcible conversion" on Sunday, August 26.
According to a report carried on, an Indian Hindu web news portal, Fr. Edward was offering false promises of monetary help, foreign jobs, taking care of children etc. The site also claimed that Fr. Edward converted 40 "gullible Hindu families."

The Bajrang Dal activists told hindujagruti news, "The converted families were poor and hailed from the Bhyandar, Jogeshwari and Andheri areas in Mumbai City."
Their story alleged that "taking advantage of their poverty, Fr. Edward asked them to assemble at Vidyavikas School in Andheri where a mass was to be conducted on every Sunday and from there, they were taken to Juhu Beach to participate in program of conversion and only after which they were to be offered certain facilities.

"Once the people got there, the Father asked them to take a dip in the sea so as to purify them. Later, he started making statements like 'Your God is a devil. Only Jesus is the true Lord.'"

Seeing the priest doing this kind of an activity the Bajrang Dal activists caught hold of the Father and took him to Santa Cruz police station and lodged a complaint against him. After due enquiry, police filed a case against the Church Father and kept him in custody at D. N. Nagar police station. He was booked under Section 295-A and 508 for "deceit and bribery," by the police. He will be presented in Andheri Court for hearing.

Bajrang Dal is sometimes translated as "Monkey Brigade" and is the youth wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), and one of its family of organizations (Sangh Parivar) based on the core ideology of Hindutva (Hindu nationalism).

Assist News Service