Walkout over conversion issue in Maharashtra Council

MUMBAI, JULY 20. The entire Opposition today staged a walkout in the Maharashtra Legislative Council accusing the Government of shielding Christian missionaries allegedly involved in conversion at Abhona village in Nasik.

The Minister of State for Home, Mr. Manikrao Thakre, in a written reply to Mr. Daulatrao Aher (BJP), informed the House that a mob of 70-80 youths attacked members of the Christian community who were watching a film on `jesus Christ' on May 9 during a prayer meeting and religious celebration.

Mr. Thakre told the House that the faithfuls belonging to evangelical church were attacked by a group of youths who set afire one motorbike and damaged the cine projector which was screening the movie on `jesus Christ'.

Mr. Aher wanted to know whether illegal construction by Christian missionaries would be demolished and church officials booked for alleged power theft. At this juncture, the members from the treasury benches protested Mr. Aher's remarks and shouted `shame, shame' which was reciprocated by Opposition benches.This led to noisy scenes in the House and members from either side went on levelling allegations and counter-allegations. Responding to Mr. Aher's charges of illegal constructions, Mr. Thake said it was true it would be demolished and added those who made inflammatory speeches after the incident would also be booked.