Vidisha (Agenzia Fides) - Hundreds of police deployment was done at the St. Mary's Post Graduate College in Vidisha, Sagar Diocese in Madhya Pradesh, central India as Hindu right-wing groups threaten to perform Hindu rituals in the premises.
“Calm has returned to the place now as only policemen on watch have remained in the area. We thank once again the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singhji and the Madhya Pradesh police force. And a big thank you for your prayers. The Fathers and Sisters and other personnel are in a state of shock. Do continue to pray for them,” said Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, secretary general of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), who is following the issue, told Fides news.
On January 4, more than 900 Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (Abvp), one of the Hindu right wing student groups threatened to gather and forcibly perform “Aarti of Bharat Mata” (incense to national personification of India as "Mother Goddess", represented by the goddess Durga dressed in an orange sari and accompanied by a lion) and other Hindu goddesses in the college.
“The Madhya Pradesh police assured church authorities full police protection. The priests who manage the College, however feel that the situation is potentially very dangerous as over 900 activists were expected to gather in violation of police orders. There was already an aggression earlier on 30 December despite the presence of 20 policemen. We need to pray more. We are in touch with the Federal Home Ministry,” said Mascarenhas.
“We thank our Home Minister Singh for directly intervening to ensure safety of our Institution and priests, nuns, college personnel and staff and students. A large crowd of activists were reported to have gathered outside the college wanting to enter the premises. But a huge battalion of police is confident of dealing with the situation,” Bishop Theodore added.
It can be recalled that during the last Christmas season, a group of Hindu radicals seminarians and priests of Satna were attacked, when they were in the villages for Christmas carols. (SD) (Agenzia Fides 4/1/2018)