Navy preventing Goa Christians from praying at chapel: Congress MPMay 9th, 2012 - 6:32 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 9 (IANS) A Congress MP Wednesday accused the Indian Navy of repeatedly barring Christians from praying at a sacred chapel on the Anjadip island, a few hundred metres off the coast in South Goa district.
Shantaram Naik told the Rajya Sabha that the “attitude” of the Indian Navy officials was not right and in violation of a written contract between the state government and the naval authorities.
“There is strong resentment over the fact that the Indian Navy did not allow members of the Christian community to say prayers in the chapel (a smaller place of worship for Christians) at Anjadip island despite the navy having signed a written contract with the government of Goa while accepting the land from the then union territory,” Naik said.
Naik and another Congress MP Francisco Sardinha have already submitted memorandums to Defence Minister A.K. Antony asking him to permit the Christian community members to visit the island on religious occasions.
“People are taken to the island on the (occasion of) Navy Day under security, but the navy is not willing to follow the same procedure in case of the visit by members of the Christian community,” the memorandum said.
Christians form 26 percent of Goa’s population.
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Tags: antony, christians, community members, defence minister, goa district, indian navy, memorandums, naik, naval authorities, navy officials, place of worship, rajya sabha, religious occasions, resentment, sacred chapel, sardinha, shantaram, south goa, state government, union territory