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Christian forum seeks protection
BHOPAL, FEB 4 (IANS):
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Published on 5 Feb. 2009 1:28 AM IST
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A Madhya Pradesh Christian forum Wednesday wrote to President Pratibha Patil seeking her protection and expressing fears of violence against the community in the wake of upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh Christian Forum (MPCCF) wrote to the president after Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activists Monday allegedly ransacked a Christian missionary-run St. Thomas Convent, whose principal Thomas Malkacherupil was accused of dishonouring national anthem during the Republic Day function Jan 26, MPCCF chief Indira Iyengar said. Iyenger, in the letter, has said that the Christians could be subjected to more violence in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections. A case for disrupting singing of the national anthem was registered against Malkacherupil Jan 31 on the basis of a complaint by the school’s physical training teacher Vedprakash Gupta. Later Monday, ABVP workers staged a demonstration outside the convent school demanding arrest of the principal and scuffled with the cops in which some activists were injured. The principal was arrested and later released on bail. Demanding a ban on all outfits that are “damaging the secular character of the country”, Iyengar said, “Future of the country’s democracy is at stake due to such elements”. Meanwhile, ABVP activists have demanded that the bail of the principal be cancelled and he be re-arrested. ABVP state secretary Hitesh Shukla has warned of an intensified agitation if their demand was not fulfilled by Thursday. “People involved in the treason do not have any caste or religion, and any attempt to save the culprit by giving the issue a communal colour is wrong and would not be tolerated,” Shukla said. State Congress spokesperson Manak Agrawal said, “The incident once again underlines the fact that ABVP, Bajrang Dal and allied organisations of the ruling BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) have no fear of law. The police and the administration in the state have miserably failed to rein them in.” Agrawal demanded that people responsible for the incident should be arrested and prosecuted.

 
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