Special Correspondent

Five arrested over the incident

JAIPUR: A day after the daylight attack on Christian preacher Walter Massey at his residence in the Nandpuri area here on Monday, the opposition Congress led a delegation to Rajasthan Governor Pratibha Patil demanding dismissal of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Government in the State.

The delegation, led by former Chief Ministers Shiv Charan Mathur and Jagannath Pahadia and former Deputy Chief Minister Kamla, cited instances of attacks on the religious persons from the minority communities and alleged connivance of government machinery and ministers in such acts as a valid reason for dismissal of the Government.

The day did not find anyone from the Government forthcoming to even condemn the attack or sympathise with the victim or the terrorised Christian community, not to speak of offering any relief to the family affected. The police authorities, though reluctant to name the forces behind the attack, announced the arrest of five persons: Suresh (20), Vimal (27), Pratapsingh (40), Mukesh Singh (20) and Ganesh Singh (25), all from the slums Mr. Massey used to visit regularly.

Mr. Massey was brought home in the evening from the Sawai Man Singh Hospital in an ambulance by the time the participants of a peace march, jointly organised by various Christian groups, human rights and activist organisations from Jyotibha Phule Circle reached his residence. He was relieved from the trauma ward of the hospital following an improvement in his condition.

"The BJP Government in the State is promoting the communal agenda flouting all the Constitutional norms of equal rights to all citizens. In the recent past the religious persons and institutions of a particular community have been targeted in a way to promote communal discord," the memorandum, presented to the Governor by senior Pradesh Congress Committee functionaries, Raghu Sharma, Mumtaz Masih, former Minister Hiralal Indora and youth leader, Pratapsingh Kachariawas, said.

The memorandum among other things sought adequate compensation for the victim of Sunday's attack and inclusion of relevant clauses for "attempt to life" and "intruding into the residence" in the first information report.

The participants in the silent march, organised by Sadbhavana Manch Rajasthan, included Arya Samaj leader Satyavrat Samvedi, president of Rajasthan Jamaat-e-Islami, Engineer Mohammed Saleem, Sarvodaya leader Sawai Singh, Bodh Mahasabha leader Tek Chand Rahul, G.L. Nahar from Anuvrat Samiti and D.K.Paul from the Civil Rights Commission and leaders of the Jaipur Christian Fellowship, C.V.Roberts, J.K.Sharma, Z.R.Masih and N. Singh.

In separate statements, Pradesh Congress Committee president B.D.Kalla, Communist Party of India State secretary Dushyant Ojha, Rajasthan PUCL general secretary Kavita Srivastava, Student Federation of India general secretary for Rajasthan Sanjay Madhav, AITUC State secretary D.K.Changani and Rajasthan Kisan Sabha general secretary Tara Singh Sidhu condemned the attack and sought arrest of the culprits.