In the wake of subsequent “attacks” on churches in Delhi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said the government would not tolerate any discrimination on the basis of caste and religion and directed the Delhi police to ensure security of churches and other places of worship.
The Home Minister has conveyed to a delegation of Christian leaders, who met him at his North Block office, that order has been issued for conducting impartial inquiry into the recent incidents of alleged attacks on churches in the national capital.
The Home Minister told the group that the government would not tolerate any discrimination on the basis of caste, colour or religion, a Home Ministry official said.
Singh also instructed the Commissioner of Delhi Police to make proper arrangements for the security of churches and other places of worship.
The group gave a memorandum to him demanding security for Christians and their places of worship.
Community leader John Dayal said following their demand, the Home Minister has directed the police to insert certain provisions of the Indian Penal Code like “provocation with intent to cause riot, hurting religious sentiment” etc in the FIR, in cases of alleged discretion of churches.
Dayal said five churches were attacked in the last two and half months in Delhi and holy relics and Holy Communion were destroyed.
“Police has done nothing and they have described the incidents as simple theft, burglary and trespassing. We told the Home Minister that these were not simple incidents but attack on our religious places,” he said.
Jenis Francis, another community leader, said police have been dismissive of the complaints lodged by Christians about “targeted violence and persecution, both by political non-state actors and other elements”.
“We demand that the government take urgent and effective measures to restore rule of law, curb the targeted and communal violence. The guilty must be traced and action under the law should be taken. Police officers must be held accountable for communal crimes in their jurisdiction,” he said.
Francis said incidents of alleged attacks on churches have increased in the last six months and demanded setting up of a special investigating team for probing the five incidents of alleged violence against churches. He said the probe should be monitored by the Delhi High Court.