Published: Mon, December 18, 2017
Research | By Jennifer Evans

Catholic priest, Bajrang Dal activist arrested — Madhya Pradesh incident

Catholic priest, Bajrang Dal activist arrested — Madhya Pradesh incident

Police have detained six Christians on the charge of trying to "forcibly" convert a Hindu man at Bhoomkhar village in Satna district, shortly after suspected Bajrang Dal activists attacked a carol-singing session there on Thursday night and burnt a auto.

An eighteen-year-old was arrested on Saturday in MP's Satna for allegedly setting fire to a auto belonging to priests who were accused of forced conversion by Bajrang Dal, reported NDTV.

According to the police, the arrested person, Vikas Shukla, is a resident of Khamu Khuja locality, who reportedly set the vehicle afire.

"Any form of violence in the name of religion needs to be stopped immediately through a collective and strong political will by the government, both at (the) central and state levels", he said.

After police got information, they came to the spot and took 32 Catholic brothers (trainee priests) and two priests to the Civil Lines police station, Fr Rony said.

The arrest was made on the basis of a complaint lodged by one Dharmendra Kumar Dohar, who said he was lured with money to convert to Christianity. A auto belonging to one of the priests was torched.

A detailed investigation is underway, Pandey added.

"Some 15 km from here in Dara Kalan village church they were getting ready for the Christmas celebrations, when a group of people attacked them, accusing them of carrying out religious conversions".

Some of the priests were released on Friday, however they alleged the members of the right-wing group had roughed them up on the premises of the police station. Eight priests who later went to the police station to enquire into the matter were also taken into custody, he said. "Four other priests who rushed to the police station were also thrashed and their auto set on fire", he had claimed.

"The complicity of the police who arrested the seminarians and stood by helplessly as the priests and seminarians were assaulted is disgusting and appalling", Catholic Bishops' Conference of India said in a statement.

He alleged they were forced to squat in a room at the police station at the night in inhuman condition without any warm clothes.

Denying allegations of conversion, Father Rony had said the Diocese has been running a seminary at Barakala village in Satna district for 20 years and not a single person has been converted to Christianity.

Speaking to reporters Dohar said, "I can't speak on this..."

Like this: