The Following Report is Provided by The United Christian Association,
Atrocities on Christian Minorities in Gujarat:
We would like to bring to your kind attention to the
large-scale atrocities being perpetuated on Christians in Gujarat for
quite some time. With the advent of BJP Govt. in Gujarat, the Sangh
Parivar workers appears to have taken it for granted that "since our
Govt. is ruling there is no one to question us if we do whatever we
like". With this thinking they are taking the law in their own hand and
are creating unrest in different parts of the State.
Cannot communities other than Hindus at liberty to follow their own
religion? There is a virtual breakdown of the Constitution in Gujarat.
If the present trend continues, it will be
extremely difficult for Christians to live peacefully in Gujarat. This
is a mockery on the secular character of the country. The VHP and Bajrang
Dal workers are perpetrating terror on all others
except Hindus. It is high time to stop such activities immediately by those
in power. Otherwise there
will be adverse and irreparable damage to secular fabric of the country
and its ongoing economic developmental programs. At this juncture we
consider it our duty to highlight certain shocking incidents hereunder:
In Dangs the VHP, Bajrang Dal and RSS workers took out a rally against
Christian community residing in this area for several years and shouted
abusive slogans and these Christian families were threatened to leave
Dangs. Without any reason the VHP and Bajrang Dal sainiks reached there
and threatened these people to leave Dangs in the night itself.
The surprising fact is that though the local PSI was personally present
there, he did not take any preventive action. On the contrary, he tried
to get in writing from the Banjara families that they are leaving the
In Dharampur taluka, the VHP, Bajrang Dal and RSS activists took out a
huge rally and threatened the Christian communities to leave the area.
Even now these families are under the shadow of fear.
Every year the Christian people of this area gather in different
villages for prayer meetings during Christmas eve. During the last
Christmas eve too such prayer meetings were arranged. But the RSS and
VHP people also convened their own prayer meetings at the same time in
front of the churches/prayer halls and created terror against the
Christian community. But due to the timely intervention of the Police
and the Mamlatdar (district officer) they could prevent bloodshed and
further terror. Thereafter this Mamlatdar was transferred within 24
hours and instructions were given from the top not to allow this
Mamlatdar to attend his office. Thus he was also relieved from his
post. As a result Govt. officials of this area are also under fear
because of the terror being created by the constituent elements of Govt.
such as RSS, Bajrang Dal and VHP. Because if they do not perform
according to the desire of these elements, they have to face similar
fate. Thus they are also under fear.
In the Naroda area of Ahmedabad, a Church building was under
construction. We all know that in the Naroda and Bapunagar area no
construction is going according to the rules. Bungalows costing lacs of
Rupees are also being built without necessary permission. Most of the
societies are also coming up in this manner. Despite all these, instead
of breaking any of these illegal structures the Church was singled out
for destruction and the loss is estimated to Rs.25 lacs. This Church
had a community centre, free medical aid centre and prayer hall. Even
the Capital City, Gandhinagar, which is supposed to be a model city with
the stringent construction regulations, is having more than 1700 illegal
structures and blatantly flouting the building regulations. This is
already reported in the newspapers.
In the Bapunagar area of Ahmedabad the building of Vidyalaya High School
was severely damaged and cash of about Rs.1.25 lacs was burnt and some
cash was also looted. The persons in this crime are none other than the
VHP National Secretary Shri.Pravinbhai Togadia's own brother, who is
also an active BJP worker. Instead of expressing regrets, Hon. MLA Dr.
Mayaben Kodani and other MLA convened meeting at this trouble spot and
delivered inflammatory speech, thereby creating terror among the
Rajkot - Desecration of the Holy Bible:
Activists of the Bajrang Dal and the ABVP burnt about 300 copies of the
New Testament at the IP Mission School here on Monday, 21st July 98.
The activists went straight to the classroom and snatched the Bibles
from the students, which were burnt. As per the news report, the
Principal, Mrs. Snehalaben Desai, the activists terrorised the students
and even attacked a sixth standard student, Jyoti Rathod. The Bajrang
Dal and the ABVP workers shouted anti-Christian slogans and went round
shouting "Bharat mata ki jai" and Vande Mataram". The principal also
asked the students to return the New Testament copies, which were
distributed by an International organisation, Gideon's.
However, the actual cause for the activists ire is said to be a form at
the end of the book which said 'Christ is my Savior' and that 'I have
decided to accept it' and that the students were forced to sign it.
Interestingly, not a single student was forced to purchase the book or
sign the form. The ABVP and the Bajrang Dal activists accused the
school authorities of encouraging conversion. In fact, there was no
force or compulsion on anybody to accept the book or take a decision.
These activists committed the most heinous crime that has tarnished the
secular fabric of the country and flouted the religious freedom
enshrined in the Constitution. Desecration of any religious scripture
or worship place is to be condemned with all force and the guilty should
be brought to book.
In the first week of March '98, a Christian convention was convened and
the Christians were gathered for community prayer in the Polo Ground.
Necessary permission of the authorities had already been obtained.
While the prayer was going on, a group of about 300 VHP-Bajrang Dal
jawans descended on the ground and started beating the people gathered
there. They also burnt a Maruti car and damaged musical instruments
extensively. The loss comes to about Rs.5 lacs besides injuries
suffered by the participants. The VHP in its mouthpiece - Vishwa Hindu
Samachar of April '98 has published this incident and took pride in
admiring their rank and file who were instrumental to this atrocity.
A mentally deranged woman of Uchhal in Anandpur village came to the
Church and behaved indecently. Upon this the priest rebuked her. Later
on, when the VHP activists came to know about this incident they put
pressures on the Police for recording a complaint stating that the
priest had raped the woman and she became unconscious. However, the
woman was mentally deranged and had two children. The Churches in this
rural area are having simple thatched sheds with no walls or doors.
There is no truth in the story of molestation of this woman. It was
simply a figment of fabrication to tarnish the image of the local
Jhankhvav, Dist. Surat:
In the Jhankhvav village of Mangrol Taluka in Surat district a Christian
missionary institution is existing for several years. Adivasi students
are studying in it. This institution has acquired land before some
years. A case for tenancy right was going on upon this land. The
Mamlatdar gave a judgement in favour of farmers. This institution had
sufficient opportunity for appeal against this order. In fact, they
were preparing to go in appeal. No sooner the judgement was delivered
in the favour of the farmers by the Mamlatdar, the VHP and the Bajrang
Dal activists brought tractors and ploughed the ground and caused
extensive damages to the building of the institution, leading to huge
financial loss. Not satisfied with this, the VHP-BD activists
influenced the Collector to take into custody the authorities of the
institution under PASA.
A united meeting of the Christian communities of Palanpur was arranged
in the Municipal Hall during the Passion Week in April '98. At about 4
p.m. on 11th April '98 about 30-35 VHP/Bajrang Dal activists forcibly
entered the hall from behind. They were armed with hockey sticks,
cricket bats, iron rods etc. They destroyed the food, which was being
prepared for about 250 delegates. They threw dirt and sand into the
food making it unfit for human consumption. They also tried to molest
the woman participants, taking advantage of the recess time. The
mission's van was very badly damaged causing loss of atleast Rs.35000/-.
Kapadwanj, Dist. Kheda:
The Christian community of Kapadwanj is having their cemetery on Survey
no. 643 for many years. The Govt. also had notified this land as a
cemetery. On 8th July '98, a Christian died, and he was buried in this
cemetery on 9th July '98. but a dispute was going on between the Vaghri
people who are living nearby. In view of this, the Christians
approached the Mamlatdar and requested in writing for necessary
protection. The dead body was buried there and all concerned went home.
Thereafter, the VHP, Bajrang Dal and RSS activists went to the cemetery
and dug out the coffin and threw it on the road in front of the local
Church. Upon this the Christians had no other option, other than
burying the dead body on the riverbank, which they did. In this manner,
by indulging in inhuman acts, the Sangh Parivar activists seriously hurt
the sentiments and religious feelings of entire Christian community.
Most of the Christian cemeteries are already encroached upon by the
hutment dwellers who prevent the burial of the dead there. An enquiry
is to be conducted to find out such encroachments on places of worship
and cemeteries and steps may be taken for evicting such illegal
occupants. This can prevent future recurrence of the type of incidents
that happened at Kapadwanj.
In this manner the VHP, Bajrang Dal and RSS activists create an
atmosphere of terror and fear at different places and instigate the
people to indulge in heinous crimes against opposite communities. The
Police are also being put under pressure by the authorities, as a result
proper recording of FIR does not take place. Christians are intimidated
from filing FIRs. The ruling BJP Govt. should restrain their component
units mentioned above from taking the control of the State in their own
hand and the atmosphere of peace and goodwill between various
communities should be resolved in Gandhiji's Gujarat.
Attack on Christian Conference in Baroda
Copy of the Petition Send to the Governor of Gujarat
Copyright © 1998 The Concerned Christians of India