After registration of a criminal case against 14 villagers of Kaimari village in connection with vandalisation of a church in Hisar district on Thursday, the village panchayat on Monday met district police chief Saurabh Singh and demanded action against the complainant priest for framing the villagers.
The police had lodged an FIR on Friday under sections 295 (Injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class), 295A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion), 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion) against 14 persons, on the complaint of priest Saurabh Kumar.
Satya Narayan, who led the panchayat, said: "The said building (church) is located on the outskirts of village and was attacked by some unidentified miscreants who hoisted a 'saffron flag' and placed a Hanuman idol there, but the villagers named in the complaint were not involved in the incident in any manner”.
Narayan said the panchayat had summoned Kumar a month ago and warned him to not carry out any conversion attempt in the village as they had received suspicious inputs pointing to the same. Narayan said Kumar had agreed to their demands.
"There matter ended then and there,” said ex-sarpanch Dalbir Singh. Meanwhile, police had taken possession of 'saffron flag' and Hanuman Idol recovered from the church, which was under construction.
On the other side, complainant Subhash Kumar, who is a native of Kaithal district maintained that the villagers named in complaint had attacked the church building site in his absence and placed Hindu religious items inside it. Rubbishing the conversion charges, he said that he was not aware of any such activity.
The DIG told the media that the villagers and complainant have been assured of a fair and speedy investigation into the case.
State-level Hindu and Christian affiliated organisations have condemned the attack on church and demanded a transparent probe into the incident.