Karnataka: RSS barges into child’s naming ceremony alleging religious conversion

RSS members interrupted a child’s naming ceremony in Karnataka’s Hubli district, alleging religious conversion.
The incident was reported while the anti-conversion bill was passed by the Karnataka assembly on Thursday. (File photo)
The incident was reported while the anti-conversion bill was passed by the Karnataka assembly on Thursday. (File photo)
Published on Dec 25, 2021 01:15 AM IST
Copy Link
ByHT Correspondent, Bengaluru

Members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on Wednesday interrupted a child’s naming ceremony in Hubli district, alleging religious conversion. The incident was reported while the anti-conversion bill was passed by the Karnataka assembly on Thursday.

The incident took place in Koliwad village in the district, located around 400 km from capital Bengaluru. A group of RSS members allegedly barged into the house of Nilavwa Bhajantri on Wednesday night. The group interrupted a gathering of children and their parents. Following this “raid”, a pastor and a local resident were called in for questioning by police.

Nagaraja Gunjala, an RSS leader, told media that at least 10 conversions were reported in the village in the past few years and the pastor was trying to convert more people. “What is the need for teaching the bible at a naming ceremony? This is an attempt to convert and we will oppose,” he said.

HT could not verify the claim made by the RSS leader and even police said they couldn’t find any evidence supporting the activist’s claim.

The pastor was not available for the comment but in a statement given to police, he and guest presents have denied the allegations made by RSS workers. A day after the incident, on Thursday, police called both the RSS leader and the pastor for questioning. Both parties were let off after a discussion with police.

P Krishnakant, the superintendent of police, Hubli rural, said since no complaint was lodged by both parties as no FIR has been registered in the matter. “We have investigated the matter. We have not come across any evidence of religious conversion so far. We were informed about an attempt to conduct conversion, but it was found not to be true. The house owner has also given a statement stating the same,” said the officer.

When asked if any action has been taken again the RSS workers, the officer said there were no complaints filed and if any “cognisable matters” come to light action will be taken.

In another incident, Christmas celebrations at a school in Mandya district were interrupted by Hindutva activists on Thursday, alleging religious conversion. The mob barged into Nirmala English High School and College as the Christmas celebrations were underway. Officials of the school said the parent of one of the students had informed the right-wing groups that the school was preaching Christianity during the celebrations.

A video of the incident has gone viral on the social media on Friday. No police complaint has been registered so far.

On Wednesday, a 150-year-old church was allegedly vandalised by unidentified people in Chikkaballapur district, 65 km from Bengaluru. The miscreants vandalised the statue of St Antony, at St Joseph’s church, in Susaipalaya area. The incident came to light when a parishioner, who arrived for prayers at around 6 am, found the broken statue and informed the parish priest. In a complaint, the church authority said a large stone was found near the broken statue.

The incident came hours before the Karnataka legislative assembly passed the contentious “anti-conversion bill”, amid din, to prevent “unlawful conversions”. These attacks are also the latest in the spate of attacks on various Christian groups. Members of right-ring groups set ablaze Christian religious books alleging religious conversion by the church while a viral video purportedly showed a man chasing a priest with a machete earlier this month.

A viral video on social media last month showed members of the Bajrang Dal barging into a prayer hall and stopping a service mid-way in Hassan district. In a similar incident in September, a group of right-wing activists barged into a Christian prayer hall Karkala in Udupi district and allegedly attacked devotees while a prayer meeting was underway.

A fact-finding report by several civil society organisations earlier in December claimed that Karnataka was witnessing one of the highest incidents of attack against Christians due to the government’s “attitude”.

The report by United Christian Forum (UCF), Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR), and United Against Hate also claimed that Karnataka ranks third among states with the most number of attacks on the community and their places of worship in India. A separate report released by People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) last week documented 39 instances of attacks on Christians in the state this year.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Bangladeshi national contested 2021 assembly seat for TMC, finds Calcutta HC

    Bangladeshi national contested 2021 assembly seat for TMC, finds Calcutta HC

    Trinamool Congress candidate Alo Rani Sarkar, who unsuccessfully contested the Bongaon South assembly seat in 2021, is a Bangladeshi national, the Calcutta high court said on Friday while passing its order on Sarkar's petition that challenged the poll results. Alo Rani Sarkar filed the petition after the polls results were declared on May 2, 2021.

  • Freshly harvested cherries being packed into boxes at an orchard in Ganderbal’s Kangan. (Waseem Andrabi/Hindustan Times)

    Fruit growers in Kashmir look forward to compensate losses

    The areas which received the heavy hailstorm earlier this month is known for its cherry harvest. “I usually sell 30 to 40 boxes every day to the locals but in coming days, when all varieties will be available in market, my sales will further pick up along with good rates,” he added. Growers say though bulk of stone fruits is dispatched outside the UT, local sales too have a good potential to compensate losses.

  • National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah addresses a party meeting in Jammu on Friday. (PTI)

    Increased tourists footfall, flights to Kashmir can’t be called normalcy: Omar

    National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah on Friday said that the Modi government has failed to restore peace in Kashmir and the increased tourist footfall and multiple flights to the Valley cannot be called signs of normalcy. Addressing mediapersons at the party headquarters here, he said, “No one is feeling secure amid targeted killings. The state of fear is such that Pandit employees are ready to quit their jobs and run away from Kashmir.”

  • Kangra SP Khushal Chand Sharma said a departmental action has been initiated against the cops who were accompanying Prince Kapoor, a resident of Jammu and Kashmir. (Image for representational purpose)

    Undertrial escapes Kangra police custody

    An undertrial lodged in Dharamshala district jail on armed robbery charges fled from Kangra police custody while he along with other prisoners being transported back to the prison after being produced in a court in Pathankot of Punjab. The incident took place on Thursday. Kangra SP Khushal Chand Sharma said a departmental action has been initiated against the cops who were accompanying a resident of Jammu and Kashmir, Prince Kapoor.

  • Police said the woman also allegedly wrote that her husband should not be appointed as a government teacher in Delhi as such a person would destroy the future of students.

    Woman harassed by husband, in-laws for dowry hangs self

    Within three months of her marriage, a 24-year-old woman hanged herself at her parents' home in Palam Vihar extension on Thursday evening alleging that her husband and her in-laws harassed her for dowry, said the police on Friday. The incident came to the fore when the woman's younger sister returned from college and found her hanging from the ceiling fan of a room on the first floor.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, May 21, 2022