Delhi: Special helpline, Facebook page for safety of Christians

  • Karn Pratap Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 18, 2015 01:14 IST

Delhi Police are all set to launch a helpline and Facebook page to address grievances of Christians after Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised freedom of worship for all faiths and a crackdown on religious violence following a series of attacks on churches, officials said on Tuesday.

A senior police officer said a special team had been constituted in each of the city’s eleven districts and these units will visit churches as well as convent schools at least twice a day and make necessary security arrangements in coordination with various authorities.

“All the SHOs have been asked to prepare a roadmap pertaining to the security apparatus that needs to be put in place at Christian schools and churches in their respective territorial jurisdiction," the officer said.

Modi summoned Delhi’s police chief last week and asked him to investigate the half-a-dozen incidents of vandalism at Christian institutions in the city over the past two months after a missionary school in Vasant Vihar was attacked.

Sources said the helpline is expected to become operational within this week and the Facebook page, "Minority's Brethren", is also in the works.

"We have approached the service provider for issuing a four-digit helpline number. They will soon select a number and pass it on to us," said a senior police officer.

Religious intolerance in India would have shocked Mahatma Gandhi, US President Barack Obama said this month following his Republic Day visit when he said the country’s success depended on its not splintering along communal lines.

"We welcome the recent steps taken by Delhi police and hope that they will be implemented at the earliest," said Savarimuthu Shankar, spokesperson for the Delhi Catholic Archdiocese. "At the same time, we expect that the result of their efforts should be visible and not limited only on paper."

Police have asked church authorities to install security cameras in and around the buildings and deploy private security guards, while beat constables have been instructed to activate their intelligence networks and ensure the safety of the institutions, said sources.

The frequency of patrolling by vehicles of the police control room, quick reaction team (QRT) and emergency response team has also been increased.

The department sent a report to the home ministry on Monday, outlining the steps taken so far.

The Prime Minister spoke to union home secretary LC Goyal last week and asked him to pay special attention to rising incidents of crime and vandalism and to work towards ensuring the safety and security of women in the Capital.

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