HJV members storm into Christian prayer hall near Karkala

Activists of HJV were accused of creating a ruckus at Kukkundur village near Karkala.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

A group of Hindu Jagaran Vedike (HJV) members allegedly barged into a Christian prayer hall and created a ruckus at Kukkundoor village near Karkala in Udupi district on Friday.

The Christian group has accused the activists of criminal intimidation and attempting to harass a woman who had come to the prayer hall. The HJV, meanwhile, has accused the group of indulging in conversion.

Complaint filed

The activists stormed the prayer hall of Pragati Centre near Anandi Maidan at Nakre in Kukkundoor on Friday evening. They accused Benedict, the organiser of the prayer meeting, of indulging in religious conversion. While taking videos of those assembled at the hall, they hurled abuses and created a commotion, according to a complaint filed with the Karkala Town police.

The police rushed to the spot and sent away the HJV members. Later, the HJV members filed a complaint against Mr. Benedict. Sunil, a resident of Kuntalpady, who attended the prayer meet, also filed complaint, accusing him of hurting religious sentiments. These complaints were registered for offences under Section 295 A and 298 of the Indian Penal Code. Mr. Benedict also filed a complaint against the HJV members, which was registered for offences punishable under Sections 143, 147, 323, 354, 448, 504, and 506 of the IPC.

Mr. Benedict told reporters that the centre was run by a religious congregation from Mangaluru. Denying religious conversion, Mr. Benedict said they were holding prayer sessions in which people from different communities took part. He accused the HJV activists of causing commotion at the prayer hall and hurling abuses at women who attended the session.

Shifted venue

Mr. Benedict earlier held prayer session at Dooopadakatte, also in Karkala taluk. Following a complaint of religious conversion on July 15, 2021, Mr. Benedict relocated to the hall at Kukkundoor. Mahesh Bailoor, HJV Udupi district general secretary, said there was no permission from the district administration for Mr. Benedict to hold prayer sessions at Kukkundoor.

Meanwhile, Udupi district president of the All India Christian Federation Prashanth Jatthana demanded strict action against the HJV members for storming into the prayer hall and misbehaving with women.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 2:49:32 PM |

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