Losing Confidence in Govt: Top Catholic Body After Satna Incident

Cardinal Baselios Cleemis talked about polarisation in the country, days after Catholic priests were attacked in MP.

2 min read
<p>Cardinal Baselios Cleemis (2nd from left) with PM Modi in 2016.&nbsp;</p>

Days after a group of Catholic priests and carolers were attacked and their car was set on fire in Madhya Pradesh’s Satna, the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) – a top Catholic body – has asserted that the Christian community is “losing confidence in the government”.

In an interview to The Indian Express, Cardinal Baselios Cleemis underlined how there is polarisation in the country based on religious affiliations, while referring to the Satna incident, where around 42 Christians were detained by the police on 14 December after members of the Bajrang Dal reportedly accused them of forced religious conversion.

However, those who were detained were let off by the police on 15 December.


I agree such incidents can happen in a big country… But how do you evaluate the strength and stand of the government? It is the subsequent action and the legal protection that matter… The country is being divided on the basis of religious belief. It is bad in a democratic country.

Cardinal Baselios Cleemis to The Indian Express

Vehemently refusing the allegations of conversion, Cleemis called it a pre-planned attack and urged the government to come up with measures that ensure protection for the innocent and punishment for the culprits.

The cardinal, who had met Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam and Rajya Sabha vice-chairman PJ Kurien over the incident, is hopeful that they will take the necessary measures to ensure justice.

In an earlier statement, the CBCI had called the unprovoked violence “shameful” and “deplorable”.

“All right-thinking Indians will hang their heads in shame at these terrorists who have taken on the garb of ‘religious police’. We are absolutely sure that they do not speak in the name of our very broad-minded and peace-loving Hindu brethren,” the statement said.

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