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Congress highlights BJP’s ‘double face’; Condemns RSS backed demand for delisting Christians as tribals

Sujata Paul at the press conference

In Nagaland, the BJP clearly intends to weaken and wipe out NDPP by getting their B and C teams of political parties with no standing appearing on the election scene, said AICC media coordinator, Sujata Paul.

By Imna Longchar, TFM Nagaland Correspondent

All India Congress Committee (AICC), and the Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) on Thursday severely criticized the BJP’s “double face” of the RSS backed Janajati Dharma Sanskriti Suraksha Manch’s demand for delisting of tribals who are Christians.
AICC media coordinator, Sujata Paul, who has been camping in Nagaland for the past few weeks said that it was on October 6, 2019, Legal Rights Observatory (LRO), a legal rights organization affiliated with the Hindu-nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) had demanded for removal of the Holy Bible from Civil Hospital in Shillong, Meghalaya. On the following day (October 7, 2019), the (LRO) urged the union housing and urban affair mister Hardeep Singh Puri, not to allot land to the Presbyterians to build a Church in the National capital, New Delhi.
With many reported incidents since 2016, it was also highlighted that the RSS planned to reach out to the Christians by setting up an organization on the lines of the Muslim did not find favour with the Catholics who had formed about 70 percent of the community.

Sujata Paul stated that a spate of attacks against the Christian community had been reported from October to December 2021 across the country, from Uttarakhand to Madhya Pradesh to Karnataka. 8 attacks happened between Oct and December and these incidents came on the back of 305 similar attacks that took place between January and September of 2021 according to a human rights report released in October 2021 by United Against Hate, Association for Protection of Civil Rights, and United Christian Forum (UCF). Maximum (66) attacks happened in Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka had 32 such attacks while madhya pradesh had 30 attacks.

She alleged that on October 3, 2021, a prayer house was attacked in Roorkee, Uttarakhand. A mob of about 250, that included members of BJP, Right-wing Hindu outfit Bajrang Dal, and Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) ransacked the prayer house. The police registered a case against the perpetrators but nothing has come out of till date. However, a cross FIR was registered certain members of the Bajrang Dal, the BJP and the VHP, among other 200 unidentified men, under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including under sections 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship) and 296 (disturbing religious assembly). No culprit was arrested. However, a cross-FIR was filed against 11 Christian community members over the ‘conversion’ allegations.

On November 28, 2021. Bajrang Dal and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) vandalised a newly set up church in the national capital’s Dwarka area, she alleged and added that in Assam on December 22, 2022, a letter of an SP of the police’s Special Branch that sought information from all SPs on religious conversion and the number of churches established in their respective districts in the past year purportedly issued on December 16, 2022. SPs were asked to submit their report along with suggestions on “counter measures” by December 22. And, when the news broke in the media, Chief Minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma backtracked, she said.

Sujata Paul said that on February 5, 2022, the RSS-backed Janajati Dharma- Sanskriti Suraksha Manch (JDSSM) that is active in Guwahati had demanded delisting of tribals who are Christians. The JDSSM had asked for removal of their Scheduled Tribe status which entitles them to reservation in jobs and was also demanding the Centre and State governments to amend Article 342A of the Constitution of India.

“BJP’s real intentions are out in the open. Not only are they ready with a Plan to take away the special status of Nagaland granted to it under Article 371 (A) but the fact that not a word has been spoken about it by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma ordering serious action to be taken against this attack on tribals and their identity or even a statement condemning it. On the other hand, committees have already been formed by BJP ruled governments of Uttarakhand and Gujarat to implement the Uniform Civil Code at the earliest. If that were to happen as BJP has been vociferous about their intention to implement the Uniform Civil Code in the India, we have questions for the BJP. How will you bring in UCC when Nagaland has special status under article 371 (A) or do you not consider Naga tribes and their identity valuable? Or do you intend to snatch away our special powers?”, she asked.

The AICC media coordinator said, “Today, this threat is real and the threat is close and looming large. In Jammu & Kashmir, BJP formed the government with PDP and crept into the state. In Nagaland, they have piggy backed on NDPP and crept in. In J&K, they took back support and brought down the government after whch the special status of J&K was taken away. In Nagaland, the BJP clearly intends to weaken and wipe out NDPP by getting their B and C teams of political parties with no standing appearing on the election scene. The BJP must answer why no action is being taken against JDSSM when from Guwahati, they are attacking tribals and the people of Nagaland can see the dubious, double face of BJP refusing to speak up inspite of having got 12 seats in the last Assembly”.

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