//Probe team finds attack on Christian institutions unprovoked

Probe team finds attack on Christian institutions unprovoked

March 13, 2006, Jaipur (ICNS) — Attacks on Christian institutions in Rajasthan by the radical Hindu organisations were "unprovoked," according to an independent delegation.

The five-member delegation of Members of Parliament from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) toured Kota, a town in Rajasthan, on Saturday on a fact-finding mission in the wake of recent attacks.

"The Sangh Parivar elements are using the controversial book as a convenient tool to carry out a systematic campaign against the minority groups," said Suresh Kurup, who headed the delegation.

"We will raise the issue in Parliament and also brief our party and the Central Government on the situation here," he said.

The delegation toured the affected areas and met the functionaries of the Emmanuel Mission International School, orphanage and the Mission’s headquarter.

It also went to St. Paul’s School, a Catholic institution, which also was the target of attacks from the Hindu groups.

The attacks were carried out under the pretext of protesting against a book “Haqeeqat” (reality), which the Hindu outfits allege denigrates their religions and deities.

Other members of the delegation were Sebastian Paul, Lonappan Nambadan, K.S. Manoj, and A.V. Bellarmine. R.K. Swami, CPM’s Kota district secretary accompanied the delegation as it met the affected persons, the District Collector, the Superintendent of Police and a cross section of people.

"We were in Kota on the instructions of the Central Committee of the CPI (M)," Kurup said talking on phone from Kota.

"We are not in any way justifying the book but it all seems to be a planned operation. There has been a systematic attack on the institutions managed by the Emmanuel Mission. The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Sangh Parivar outfits are threatening to get them closed for good in Rajasthan," he said.

The BJP MPs from Rajasthan, led by Srichand Kripalani from Chittorgarh, who raised the issue in Parliament on Thursday, has demanded a ban on the controversial book.

The Rajasthan government had sent a team of policemen to Kerala recently to arrest M.G. Mathew, the author of the book, written in reply to "A Bunch of Thoughts" authored by RSS thinker M.S. Golwalkar.

"It is a clear- cut campaign against the minorities here. The book was only an excuse. Otherwise why should they have attacked St. Paul’s School, which is not an EMI institution," Paul noted.

"We appreciate the assurance given by the Collector and SP to protect the minorities when we met them. They also told us that the situation was returning to normal," Paul said referring to the meeting with the district authorities.