Bajrang Dal cadres storm press meet on rape victims
BAJRANG DAL activists today stormed the press conference venue where two Christian rape victims had come to narrate their ordeal to newspersons and even threatened in full media glare that they would not tolerate ?any attempt to malign Hindu organisations?.Updated: Jun 06, 2006 14:46 IST
BAJRANG DAL activists today stormed the press conference venue where two Christian rape victims had come to narrate their ordeal to newspersons and even threatened in full media glare that they would not tolerate ‘any attempt to malign Hindu organisations’.
The two women from Nadia village in Bhagwanpura in Khargone district, who had allegedly been gang-raped on May 30, had come along with MP State Minorities Commission (MPSMC) member and prominent Christian leader Indira Iyengar to speak to the media at Apsara restaurant.
At the fag end of the press conference, Bajrang Dal goons barged in and their leader, Bajrang Dal district convener Devendra Rawat threatened Indira Iyenger of dire consequences if she named Hindu organisations in cases of rape and violence against the Christian community.
He also alleged that many Christian missionaries were indulging in conversion through allurement. Iyenger tried to counter the Bajrang Dal leader’s bullying for a while but soon left the place, angry and frightened.
Later, turning to the mediapersons Rawat fulminated against Christians, alleging that Christian organisations were getting foreign fund to malign Hindutva outfits. He also paraded a ‘Hindu’ couple, claiming they were forcibly converted into Christianity.
Rawat said the Bajrang Dal would systematically oppose such activities and will be ready to make any sacrifice for this ‘cause’.
Earlier, Indira Iyengar told mediapersons that Khargone BJP MLA Dal Singh Solanki had instigated his cohorts to rape the
two Christian women. Solanki had repeatedly been threatening Christians in the region of falsely implicating in conversion attempt.
She said instead of promptly registering an FIR against the culprits, the police ill-treated the rape victims. The victims and their families had been repeatedly threatened of dire consequences, she added.
After the incident , Iyengar wrote to the DGP Swaraj Puri demanding protection against Bajrang Dal hoodlums. She submitted a letter to the DGP describing the incident and urged him to treat it as an FIR against Devendra Rawat and others. “I have not been subjected to such brash behaviour in all my life,’’ a shaken Iyengar told Hindustan Times.
She further said on Tuesday, she would meet Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in this regard and offer to resign from membership of the MPSMC if no action was taken.
She said she would also write to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Home Minister Shivraj Patil and Congress president Sonia Gandhi as to how Christians were being persecuted at the behest of saffron outfits.
Earlier in the day, she met Governor Dr Balram Jakhar along with the victims and submitted a memorandum to him, alleging that incidents of violence against Christians were on the rise in the State but the Shivraj Chouhan Government was doing nothing to protect the minority community.
She urged the Governor to intervene and direct the State Government to take action or else dismiss the Government.
No arrests in Khargone case
DIG Khargone Vipin Maheshwari said no arrests had yet been made in the alleged Bhagwanpura gang rape case. He said the investigation is on. Since there were many allegations and counter allegations, detailed investigation would be conducted before further action is taken, he added.
‘Administration not making arrests’
Catholic Church Madhya Pradesh today accused the Khargone administration of not making arrests in connection with the alleged rape of two women at village Nadia in the district under pressure from Hindutva outfits.
Spokesperson for the Church Father Anand Muttungal alleged victims were being pressurised to eschew Christian faith and brace Hinduism instead. But, when they did not agree, they were allegedly kidnapped and raped. Condemning the incident, Muttungal demanded immediate arrest of the guilty and a fair inquiry into the incident.
Archbishop of Bhopal diocese Father Pascal Topno has also expressed dismay over the incident and demanded immediate steps to check activities of such anti-social activities.
First Published: Jun 06, 2006 14:46 IST