Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: Two Christian groups resorted to wordy duel at the open debate organised at Jubilee Hall here on Tuesday on the proposed legislation to protect Christian properties. One group supported the Government’s intervention while the other opposed it.

Chaos ruled the roost soon after Minorities Welfare Minister Mohd Ali Shabbir arrived to chair the debate, with antagonists, led by Sleeva Gell of United Front for Dalit Christian Rights raising full-throated slogans against the proposal and its votaries shouting them down.

In the confusion that followed, both groups exchanged fierce arguments and mobbed the Minister. Police had to intervene to make way for the Minister who, however, brought calm, ending the din, by an appeal that this was not the way the Christians who gave education to society, should behave.

At the debate that began later, two distinct opinions emerged on the two draft Bills proposed by the Government.

Speakers belonging to Catholic sect, by and large, opposed the Bills on the ground that there was “in-built” arrangement in the church to check sale of properties.

However, Fr Anthoniraj Thumma, deputy secretary, AP Bishops Council, sought a special tribunal in place of legislation to serve the purpose.