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Sabrang Alert

April 12, 2003


Target: Christians


Protest Against the Targeting of Christians, Again In Gujarat 


The BJP government has once more, begun the systematic targeting of  Christian Institutions in Gujarat. Details of earlier attacks against Christians and Christian Institutions in the state can be had from www. sabrang.com (see accompanying articles below). Before the Gujarat Genocide and targeting of Muslims, the BJP’s Hindutva plan had begun with the brutal and systematic targeting of Christians and Christian Institutions in the State. It is therefore important that we realise and understand the pattern and immediatley respond, in one voice against these attacks whenever and wherever they take place.


 A Christian Health Care Centre set up with the support of the All India Christian Council was gleefully attacked by members of the VHP and Bajrang Dal. A month ago an insiduous survey of Christian Institutions has begun (see articles below also see Communalism Combat-April 2003—Gujarat One Year Later)


It is important that NATIONAL LEVEL protests are heard on every incident of this kind that takes place.



Teesta Setalvad                                                             Javed Anand



Demand State Protection for Christian Missionaries


Write letters to the President of India

§         Prime Minister

§         Union Home Minister

§         Chief Minister of your State

§          DG, Police of your State                              

§         Police Commissioner of your city

Abul Kalam Azad

The President of India

Rashtrapati Bhavan

New Delhi 110004

Fax  91-011-3017290


Atal Behari Vajpayee

Prime Minister of India

7, Safdarjung Road,

New Delhi 110001.



Home Minister of India

Ministry of Home Affairs,Govt of India

Gruh Mantralaya,

New Delhi 110001

Fax- 91-011-3015729








Christian-built dispensary ransacked


LIMDI/SURENDRANAGAR: This was the day Ishwar Patel was eagerly looking forward to. Patel, who is the president of Limdi Nagarpalika, had made all arrangements to inaugurate the new building of the municipality-run health-care centre near Azad Chowk, which collapsed during the quake over two years back. Former minister Kirtisinh Rana was to be the chief guest for the function.

However, disaster struck again. Some people had reservations against the Christian organisation, the All India Christian Council (AICC), which had donated money to rebuild the complex.

Late on Thursday, miscreants ransacked the building, pulled down the boards listing the names of donors and management and brought down the mandap erected for the inaugural ceremony. The graffiti in red paint on the door of the building proclaimed — ‘Jai Shree Ram; jo Hindu hit ki baat karega wohi desh par raj karega’ ; ‘Jai Shree Ram!, ho gaya kaam’ and ‘Ram ka nahin voh kisi kaam ka nahin’.

There were notice boards put up at various cross-roads of the town which said “Hindu youth of Limdi have taught the nagarpalika a lesson. Despite the fact that there were several Hindu organisations willing to donate for the construction of the centre, the nagarpalika chose a Christian organisation. Most of these organisations work to divide the country and destroy Hindu religion. Jai Shree Ram: VHP!”

On Friday morning, a rally was taken out in the town by workers owing allegiance to a particular ideology. Sensing trouble, the function was cancelled. Kirtisinh Rana was informed over the phone and so were some of the Christian donors who were heading for the function.

“What happened is bad. But I don’t know the exact details,” Rana told TNN. Patel, on the other hand was very upset. “What is the point in bringing politics here. Everyone knew who had donated money. Then why create disturbance now,” he said. “Going by the slogans, you know whose handiwork it is. But what can we do unless a complaint is filed,” said a police official. 

Samson Christian, the state AICC convenor, said “We plan to lodge a complaint shortly, we have already spoken to the superintendent of police”.

However, Bakul Khakhi, general secretary of Saurashtra VHP, was elated. “We did call up Ishwar Patel yesterday (Wednesday) to inform him that we are not happy with what has been going on. We also called up all the corporators who were to attend the function. We told them that if they attend the function, we will understand that they are not with the VHP ideology,” says Khakhi.

According to Khakhi, no RSS or VHP leader was extended an invitation for the function. “Why were no leaders from the RSS and VHP invited for the function? Also, what was the point in inviting a Christian priest to bless the occasion? Couldn’t they find a single Hindu saint ? This is pseudo-secularism and we won’t tolerate it,” he said.

Asked whether VHP ransacked the building, he said “The youngsters in the organisation were upset over religious conversions in this area. Maybe, this was the last straw, but this doesn’t mean the VHP did it”. (P5)



10 March 2003

Fr.Cedric Prakash, Director, PRASHANT - Centre for human rights, justice and peace Spokesperson - Gujarat United Christian Forum for Human Rights

For almost a week now, the Gujarat Police have been knocking on the doors of Christian institutions and families all over the State asking a series of high objectionable questions.

In almost every case, the police have been coming without any authorization and are at a loss to say who has sent them and for what the answers are required.

In the single instance (in Modasa, Sabarkantha District), the police with great difficulty furnished in writing (Gujarati - rather illegible) their questionnaire as follows :

" To: All Thana Amaldhar
In DPO, CPI, Himatnagar
No. L1B/M/03 dated 2/3/2003
Send information (between 1998 and 2003) about Christians of your area to this information centre or the State Government as per the paper (Patrak) by 3/3/2003 4.00 p.m.


2. Year

3. No. of Christians at the beginning of the year.

4. Change of religion, area or village.

5. No. of people increased during the year.

6.  No. of natural births (No. of increase)

8. Marriage of Christians with people from other religion.

9. Reasons for people migrating to - from your district or area.

10. Total No. of Christians (approx. from A to B)

11. Special note. "

The police (special branch, Ahmedabad) also visited our centre PRASHANT. Among the questions asked were : a) who is the head of the institution ? b) what are the activities of the institution ? c) from where does the money come ? etc.

The police have also visited several Christian families all over and the questions related specifically to conversionand whether they were forcibly converted. In some families the police arrived there almost at midnight. Many of these families feel absolutely intimidated and harassed and are
afraid even to speak about the trauma that they have gone through. In Modasa, a tribal Christian was called to the police station for long hours of interrogation.

Reports which keep coming in are from all parts of Gujarat...Sabarkantha, Banaskantha, Kutch, Rajkot, Ahmedabad, Baroda, Panchmahals and different parts of South Gujarat. This activity of the police is not merely discriminatory but highly unlawful and unconstitutional. In 1999, when the State Government decided to do a
census on the Muslims and Christians, a suo moto order by Justice M. R. Calla of the Gujarat High Court very clearly stated that there cannot be a religion-wise or community-wise targeting of a particular group.

The Home Minister of Gujarat, Mr. Amit Shah in an interview to NDTV on March 10, 03 admitted that such a survey is taking place in Gujarat. This discriminatory survey of the police on the Christians is just another sign of the way minorities and other vulnerable communities in this State are being targeted and victimized. It needs to be condemned by all sections
of civil society.

10th March 2003


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