One Arrested for Torching Car of Catholic Priests in MP’s Satna

The group was attacked and their car set on fire on 14 Dec by Bajrang Dal members for alleged religious conversions

2 min read
Bajrang Dal targeted a group of Christian priests and carolers claiming that they were forcefully converting people to christianity.

An 18-year-old boy was arrested on Saturday, 16 December, in Madhya Pradesh's Satna, for allegedly setting fire to a car belonging to a group of Catholic priests and carolers.

The arrest came after a group of around 42 Christians were detained by the police on Thursday, 14 December, after members of the Bajrang Dal accused them of forced religious conversion, NDTV reported. The Bajrang Dal attacked the group of Christians and set their car on fire, claiming that they were forcibly converting people to Christianity.

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

Eight priests were detained, along with the group, after they went to the police station to enquire about others.

Forty-two people who were detained have been let off, but if there is any evidence against them, there will be proceedings against them.
BD Pandey, CSP, Satna on 15 December

The Quint has not been able to verify the allegations of conversion yet.

One Arrested for Torching Car of Catholic Priests in MP’s Satna
(Photo: The Quint)

According to an Indian Express report, M George, a teacher at Satna’s St Ephrem’s Theological College, and five others were booked under the Freedom of Religion Act, and Sections 153-B and 295-A of the IPC, after an individual named Dharmendra Dohar complained that he was allegedly given Rs 5,000 to convert to Christianity.

I have been here for 25 years and this has not happened before. A guy claims that we forced him to convert, but neither do I know him, nor does he know me.
Father George, Missionary School, Bhumkahar, Satna

The CBCI Call It ‘Shameful ‘And Deplorable’

According to The Indian Express, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) has denied allegations of forced conversion and said the group was moving around singing carols ahead of Christmas.

In a statement, the CBCI 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.”

“It is sad that this attack comes just two days after the effusive praise heaped upon the Catholic Church by the Honourable Vice President of India, Shri Venkaiah Naidu at the Christmas Celebrations 2017 organised by the CBCI in Delhi on 12 December”.

(This is a developing story and will be updated)

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