Calling conversion an undeclared religious war (dharma yudh), member of Madhya Pradesh State Backward Classes Commission, Laxmi Yadav, has written to the Chief Minister and the state home minister, seeking an impartial probe into the April 27 incident in Satna when a group of Bajrang Dal activists and police stopped a marriage in a church.
Yadav, who enjoys Minister of State status, said more stringent charges should be applied against the pastors who were arrested in the past for allegedly trying to convert local people. Ten people, including groom Arun Kushwaha and four pastors, were arrested from Church of God (Full Gospel) In India.
“While preaching Christianity, the minority community members were inciting anti-national and anti-religious (Hinduism) feelings. It was an attack on the country’s social and cultural heritage,’’ Yadav said in the letter, a copy of which was also sent to the DGP. The 55-year-old said besides sedition, police should also invoke sections of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, The Religious Institutions (Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1988, and other sections of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act.
Meanwhile, no prayers could be offered at the church for the second consecutive Sunday. Pastor Sam Samuel said the church remained closed, but prayers were offered at his residence above the church. Samuel said he had sought police protection for the church.