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Denied venue for prayer meet,Catholic forum writes to CM

The Catholic Secular Forum submitted memorandums seeking intervention of Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Minister for Minority Affairs Naseem Khan after Chumbala Hill Road based St Stephen’s Catholic Church was not allowed permission to hold their Good Friday prayer meet at the August Kranti Maidan in Mumbai.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai |
April 1, 2012 1:17:35 am

The Catholic Secular Forum (CSF) submitted memorandums seeking intervention of Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Minister for Minority Affairs Naseem Khan after Chumbala Hill Road based St Stephen’s Catholic Church was not allowed permission to hold their Good Friday prayer meet at the August Kranti Maidan in Mumbai.

CSF general secretary Joseph Dias said the service,which is expected to be attended by thousands of people,had been organised at the ground for the past 55 years.

“We were told by the state cultural secretary that a 2005 High Court order allowed them to grant permission to those who wanted to use the ground. Even if this is true,then why was the permission granted until last year. We have learnt that permission for the past two years was given by the current state secretary himself,” alleged Dias.

Dias said not granting permission to the church to use the grounds was infringing on religious freedom.

“The denial is a clear violation of our fundamental rights and an encroachment on the freedom of religion. We have sent memorandums to the Chief Minister and Minister for Minority Affairs. We are hoping they will help us,” said Dias.

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