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Hundreds of Christians protest Police-Builder-MNS Corporator nexus. Apostolic Church Razed. Bibles, Christmas literature, sound equipment reduced to rubble.

December 19, 2011 by  
Filed under India, Maharashtra, newsletter-lead, Persecution

Ghatkopar Against DemolitioMumbai, December 19, 2011: Hundreds of Christians led by Indian Christian United Brigade, with the All India Christian Council (aicc) of the Thane region participated in protest, with local Christian activists, like Sachin Jadhav, Sanjay Londhe and David Dhule, strongly criticising the incident at a demonstration on the highway. The CSF takes strong exception to the demolition and desecration of a church in Ghatkopar East, Mumbai and a cover-up exercise undertaken by the police. Pastors Prabhakaran Koilraj, Alankara and Simon Krishnaswamy told The CSF general secretary that they were also beaten up by a mob and the church bulldozed, besides Bibles, spiritual Christmas literature, sound equipment material and furniture being reduced to rubble on 14th December, 2011. The pastors of the Apostolic Christian Assembly Church in Kamraj Nagar have been holding service in the area since 1992 and protested against the father-son duo builders, Champaklal and Kunal Vardhan, who have not included the church in a slum redevelopment scheme. The damage estimated by The CSF would well go to over rupees one crore, at the minimum.

Desecration of a church in Ghatkopar According to the reports of the pastors to The CSF, the almost 1500 sq ft church held regular Tamil and Hindi services. On that day, during the prayers services, the pastors were called to the office of Raj Thackeray’s MNS corporator, Parmeshwar Kadam, who is also the chief promoter of the scheme. The pastors pointed out to him that the church which existed since the nineties was not shown in the municipal plan, while there were two temples shown. As they were discussing the builder by means of a bulldozer, within minutes succeeded in razing the church to the ground. Sachin Jadhav of the local aicc chapter said that it is for such reasons that the Communal Violence Bill needed to be taken up and passed by the parliament or the minorities will be left at the mercy of such goons, with no scruples.

The CSF sees a sinister design in the actions of the Pant Nagar police, who seem to be in league with the politicians and builders, leading to innocuos charges being filed against some of the accused, who were bailed out within a matter of hours on nominal bail of Rs.5,000 only. The police also delayed for days to register the complaint, as the Christians were running from pillar to post. The issue rather than a non-bailable offence of attacking and demolishing a place of worship and desecration of religious articles was made to be one of assault. The police have also given the builders enough time to apply for anticipatory bail. The CSF calls upon the police to immediately arrest the builder father-son duo under these serious charges and in a supplementary FIR add these charges to the remaining accused arrested.

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