MP: Police Arrest 30 Carol Singers Singing On The Road, Right Wing Group Sets Priest's Car Ablaze
Alleging a religious conversion, a mob-linked to a right-wing Hindu group, Bajrang Dal, attacked Catholic carol singers in Madhya Pradesh’s Satna district and also set a priest’s car ablaze. The Bhopal police detained a group of 30 Catholic carol singers in Satna on 14 December, in the evening following allegations of religious conversion, said a report by the Business Standard.
Alleged claims of conversion
Instead of taking actions against the perpetrators of violence, the police detained the Christian singers, a priest said. Father Rene Varghese said, “A group of students training to become priests was moving around Satna town, visiting Christian institutions and singing carols. Some 15 kilometres from here in Dara Kalan village church they were getting ready for Christmas celebrations, when a group of people attacked them, accusing them of carrying out the religious conversion.”
A Hindu group, Bajrang Dal, raised slogans and called the Civil Lines police station. All 32 carollers, accompanied by two priests, who singing carols were picked up and taken to the police station. Eight priests who later went to the police station to inquire into the matter were also taken into custody, he said. The agitating mob attacked the Christian students inside the police station and set fire to the priest’s car parked outside. The carolers are from St Ephrem’s Theological College in Satna.
Verghese denied any attempt at religious conversion. He said singing carols is a common practice at the time of Christmas. “We were just doing that and preparing for Christmas celebration.” However, the City Superintendent of Police D.D Pande said, “One Dharmendra Dohad has registered a complaint with us that he was Rs 5,000 and converted to a Christian. He was given a dip in the pond and his name was changed into Dharmendra Thomas, the complainant said. They also asked him to pray to the Lord Christ.”
When The Logical Indian got in touch with the Police, Head Constable Kamlesh Kumar said, “Two men have been arrested under the IPC 295 (A) (Deliberate malicious act) and 135 (B). One of them have been released on remand and investigation is under process for the other one. They had set up a camp in the village and villagers have alleged that they were forcefully converting people to Christianity.”
The entire group was at the police station until midnight. The police are also investigating the vandalism carried out by the mob.
The Logical Indian take
Carol singing is a common practice among the Christians, specifically during the time of Christmas. The police, in this case, hasn’t arrested people from the mob who have perpetrated the violence. Instead, they have arrested the singers under the pretext of them converting Hindus. The Logical Indian is deeply perturbed by the situation and it urges the concerned authority to look into the matter and ensure that the perpetrators are booked under the law.