Protesting against a series of alleged attacks against their places of worship, thousands of Christians gathered at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Gole Dak Khana on Thursday morning and demanded immediate action and an inquiry into the attacks.
However, the protesters — who wanted to march towards Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s residence — were stopped by the heavily deployed police force in the area. More than 300 protesters were detained and taken to Parliament Street police station after they tried to climb the barricades. However, they were released later in the day and no case was registered in the mater.
The protest started around 9.30 am and brought traffic to a standstill. The crowd swelled after women, religious leaders from across churches and school children joined the protest.
Protesters held placards saying “Stop attacking churches” and shouted slogans against the Modi government and police.
Robin George, one of the protesters, said, “There have been over five attacks on our religious institutions in the past two months. Why have no inquiries into the matter been initiated till now? Why are we being ignored like this? This has to stop somewhere. We demand a probe into the matter. Our aim is not to get violent or obstruct the law and order system, but to make the government listen because it has turned a deaf ear to us.”
A senior police officer said, “They had not taken prior permission to carry out the protest. With elections around the corner, it became difficult to deploy such a heavy force. The situation was, however, brought under control as protesters were detained and sent to Parliament Street police station in police buses.”