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Delhi church attacks: Reaction was motivated, says RSS forum

John Dayal rejects charge, says Sangh think tank repeating police theory to deflect attention

The RSS-related think tank, India Policy Foundation (IPF), has accused the Catholic Church of a “premeditated reaction” to acts of vandalism and theft in churches in Delhi in the run-up to the 2014 Delhi Assembly polls.

The report, which is yet to be formally released, was presented at the recent RSS conclave in Ranchi, sources said.

Delhi University academic Rakesh Sinha, who has been associated with the RSS, runs the foundation.

“The premeditated reaction of the Church authorities on the alleged church attacks in Delhi and the low profile maintained by them after the investigations are published, questions the ethics and integrity of the Catholic Church in targeting Hindu organisations,” the report, of which The Hindu has a copy, says. “Further significant is the occurrence of these incidents as a chain of events close to Delhi Assembly polls.”

It adds, “After the Delhi Assembly elections, the Catholic Church also closed down its agitation against church attacks and ruled out any involvement of Sangh Parivar in the incidents. But, matters cannot be conveniently opened and closed with swinging political pendulum.”

The document has been presented to former Supreme Court judge, Justice K.T. Thomas, who “appreciated the publication of the report”, the IPF website claims.

The report lists the “police investigation and IPF research findings”: the St Sebastian’s Church’s fire was “not” an act of sabotage; three alcoholics with no Sangh links were held for the attack on the Church of Our Lady of Grace at Vikaspuri; the parish priest at St Alphonsa’s Church at Vasant Kunj told the IPF, “the media blew the incident out of proportion”; some minor boys had indulged in stone-throwing at the Syro-Malabar Church in Jasola; melting of the electric wire led to the fire at Rohini’s Church of Resurrection, and the motive for the attack at the Holy Child Auxilium School at Vasant Vihar was found to be “theft”.

However, a member of the SIT probing St Sebastian’s Church fire told The Hindu that no headway had been made yet in ascertaining whether the fire began from inside or was lighted from outside.

All-India Christian Council co-founder John Dayal rejected the findings. He said, “That is what the police have been trying to tell us from day-1. We reject this police theory that’s patently at the behest of the BJP and Sangh Parivar to deflect attention from the role any of these organisations may have played. For, this violence is just the physical manifestation of a deep and large-scale campaign of hate and malice against the Muslim and Christian communities.”

The IPF report cites Delhi police data, apparently reported in newspapers, on the number of thefts in temples, gurdwaras, churches and mosques since 2012. As per the data, 36 temples and three churches reported thefts in 2012; 69 temples and three churches in 2013; 206 temples and three churches in 2014 and 14 temples and one church in 2015.

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Printable version | Aug 5, 2020 3:05:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/delhi-church-attacks-reaction-was-motivated-says-rss-forum/article7874531.ece

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