Activists from right-wing organizations are said to have created a ruckus and vandalized a missionary school in a town in Vidisha district in Madhya Pradesh, claiming on Monday the religious conversion of eight students to Christianity, a charge denied by the educational establishment, police said.
Police recorded a case of rioting against unidentified people after the incident at the premises of Saint Joseph School in Ganjbasoda, some 48 km from the district headquarters, under relevant articles of the Indian Penal Code (IPC ), Police Sub-Divisional (SDOP) said Bharat Bhushan Sharma.
The defendants are in the process of being identified and further legal action will be taken accordingly, he said.
Sharma said the school property was damaged.
Eyewitnesses said stones were also thrown at the school building during the uproar.
A spokesperson for the school administration said that after obtaining information about the protest through the media, the local administration was notified in advance of the possible disruption.
But people started to gather and stones were thrown which caused damage of at least Rs 10 lakh to school property, he said while denying all charges of conversion. religious.
The students were present for the exam at the school when the incident occurred. However, Nilesh Agrawal, head of the state office of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), told PTI that they had only staged a peaceful protest outside the school and then submitted a memorandum. to the local administration and denied any role of the outfit in the disturbances at the institute.
“We have nothing to do with the alleged heckling because our demonstration was peaceful after informing the local administration. Several organizations have been protesting against the conversion for a week and are calling for an investigation. Poor students brought from other states are being converted, ”Agrawal said.
He said those organizations had called for an investigation into the alleged religious conversion.
In a memorandum submitted to the local administration after the protest, the VHP, Bajrang Dal, Hindu Jagran Manch and other right-wing organizations accused the school leadership of converting eight students to Christianity.
In the memorandum, these outfits accused the school administration and the associated church of forcing students not to apply “tilak” (a color mark) to their foreheads and to wear “kalawa” (a sacred thread worn by Hindus on the wrist).
It has also been alleged that students are forced to say Christianity prayers.
In a letter to the district collector on Sunday, however, St. Joseph’s Church denied all allegations of religious conversion and claimed that the rituals performed on eight Christian children resembled “Janeu Sanskar” in Hinduism (related to wearing ‘a sacred white thread) on October 30.
The church has also called for an investigation to find out the truth.
In the letter, the church accused some local YouTube channels of spreading fake news of religious conversion and creating community tensions and demanded criminal charges against them.
On the other hand, the school principal, in a separate letter to SDOP, asked for the protection of staff members and students, saying exams were underway.
The principal’s letter also stated that media images of the alleged conversion did not represent school premises.
(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)