Police are still carrying out the directives contained in the controversial circular seeking details on the Christians in Madhya Pradesh even a week after its revocation.
On Wednesday morning, two policemen reached a social service centre run by the Christian community in Raisen district, 40 km from Bhopal, seeking information based on the circular. The policemen, including the person in charge of the Jaithari outpost, SN Kaurav, also visited a school and a hospital run by the community in the district.
Father Thomas of Pradeep Bhavan, from where the centre operates, said, “Our representatives requested the policemen to collect the requisite information from the main centre.”
Raisen police superintendent IP Kulshreshth told HT, “Following DGP SK Rout's directive on withdrawing the circular, I had communicated the same to all the police stations under my charge. I had told them not to gather information about the Christian community. If any police officer still sought information from Christians, I will look into the matter.”
However, when contacted, Kaurav said he visited the centre as directed by the superintendent of police, Raisen.
“We expect to get the requisite details within a couple of days,” he said.
The state police headquarters had issued a circular on March 23 to all police stations seeking detailed profiles of the Christians and the churches in the state. The circular had triggered alarm and anger in the community, which viewed the order as a prelude to unleashing organised violence on the community. Bhopal’s Archbishop Leo Cornelio, who heads the Catholic Church in the state, said: “It is a conspiracy against Christians in Madhya Pradesh.” He said a similar profiling had been done in Gujarat, where Christians were targeted in religious violence in some districts in 1999-2000.
Following the controversy, Rout had said the order had been rescinded. Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had also asked for a report on the circular fiasco.