Congress attacks BJP over hate speeches, vandalisation of churches

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Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge

NEW DELHI:  Congress has slammed the Centre following attacks on churches in BJP-ruled states and questioned the silence of the Prime Minister.

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday said: “Haridwar hate speeches, attacks on churches, murders in the name of religion, are all advanced symptoms of a society and polity in free fall. Hindutvawadis are unleashing barbarism. India is becoming an example of how quickly a democracy can collapse when institutions fail.”

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Referring to hate speeches in Haridwar, former home minister P Chidambaram too questioned the silence of the Prime Minister. “On a day when the PM exhorted people to recall the teachings of Jesus Christ, miscreants disrupted a Christmas programme in a private school in Haryana, Who are these miscreants? Reports say they shouted ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.

“On the next day, a church service was disrupted in Assam. Instead of exhortations, the PM should direct the BJP governments of Haryana and Assam to identify the miscreants and bring them before a Court of law. He should also exhort the Hindutva brigade to read the teachings of Jesus Christ.” Chidambaram said on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh police have registered an FIR against Hindu religious leader Kalicharan Maharaj and others for allegedly making derogatory comments on Mahatma Gandhi and praising Nathuram Godse.

On the complaint of former Raipur Mayor and Congress leader Pramod Dubey, the police registered the FIR under section 505(2), 294 IPC in the Tikrapara Police station. The event ‘Dharam Sansad’ was organised on Sunday (December 26) in Raipur.

The state government’s action comes against the backdrop of the Haridwar event in which hate speeches were made. The event in Raipur was organised at Rawanbhata in which Sant Kalicharan Maharaj is alleged to have used derogatory words for Mahatma Gandhi and justified Nathuram Godse, who killed Gandhi.

The Haridwar incident took place during an event from December 17 to 20. The video clippings were circulated on social media, which said that “Hindus should arm themselves like those seen in Myanmar, every Hindu must pick up weapons and conduct a ‘Safayi Abhiyan’.”

The three-day event was organised by Yati Narasimhanand, a controversial religious leader who has been accused in the past of inciting violence.

The Uttarakhand police have lodged an FIR in the case against Jitendra Narayan Tyagi, who was former Shia Waqf board chairman and recently converted to Hinduism. — IANS

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