Christians form human chain in Madhya PradeshOctober 2nd, 2008 - 9:39 pm ICT by IANS
Bhopal, Oct 2 (IANS) Hundreds of Christians on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti formed several kilometres long human chain here and donated blood to protest violence against their community in several parts of Madhya Pradesh and the country. The Madhya Pradesh Isai Mahasangh (MPIM) that spearheaded the protest, along with many socio-political organisations, held a prayer meeting before the statue of Mahatma Gandhi.
A member of the organisation said the campaign is being launched to protest the violence targeting the community. “The protests programmes will go on till we succeed in making the people conscious about the harm done by the few anti-social elements in the name of religion,” he added.
“We detest violence in any form and so we have adopted ‘Gandhigiri’ method of protests like forming human chain, donating blood, planting saplings, cleaning up public places and distributing fruits to poor people in an effort to draw the attention of the public against violence,” said MPIM secretary Pradeep Luther.
MPIM also asked Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to respond to a controversial remark by a senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader against their community.
Thavarchand Gehlot, a BJP leader, at a “Karyakarta Mahakumbh” (BJP workers’ conclave) Sep 25 said that after converting these people (Christians) “will support the organisations involved in anti-national activities”, MPIM alleged.
Father Anand Muttungal of MPIM said the communal forces were unleashing violence against the Christian community across the country, including in Madhya Pradesh. “We have met the chief minister, governor and others for our security but to no avail,” he said.
“On September 24, the chief minister assured us that the Christian community will be given full protection but the very next day Gehlot made such a wild allegation against our community in the presence of the chief minister, several ministers and senior leaders of the ruling party. It is a clear example of how the ruling party is trying to flare up communal passion,” said Anand who is also a spokesperson for Catholic Bishops Council.
He said the state government must answer how such a malicious allegation was levelled against the entire Christian community in the presence of the chief minister and his ministerial colleagues.
“We demand immediate arrest of the persons involved in the burning of a church in Jabalpur,” he said, adding the Indore church burning case should be probed by the CBI because “a person in the state government’s minority welfare committee is trying to divert the direction of the investigation. We also demand a CBI investigation into the Ratlam church burning incident”.