Right-wing activists have set fire to Christian religious books in Kolar in Karnataka, alleging conversions by the church in the latest communal attack against Christians in Karnataka. No arrest has been made in the case. The police said the Christian community was warned against distributing religious booklets. No member of any right-wing group has been arrested.
“We have warned the Christian community to not create any communal disharmony by going door-to-door and preaching. Both parties, the right wing and the Christian community members have settled the matter amicably,” an officer said on condition of anonymity.
The incident took place when representatives of the Christian community were going door-to-door as part of a preaching drive. They were intercepted and questioned by members of the right-wing groups, who then snatched the booklets and set them on fire.
Admitting that they were burning religious books, one of the activists insisted that they “did not act violently”. “We did not trouble them. They were distributing books in our neighbourhood and were propagating about Christianity,” he told reporters.
The Kolar incident is the 38th attack on religious minorities in Karnataka in the last 12 months. There has been a wave of such attacks since the BJP-led state government started considering a bill to ban forcible religious conversions.
According to a Fact Finding report documented by the United Christians Forum, Association for Protection of Civil Rights and United Against Hate, from January to September this year, 32 attacks on churches and the Christian community have taken place. Between October and December, six attacks have been reported.
On Sunday, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said the bill on forcible religious conversion will be up for discussion in the Winter Session of the state assembly and this was meant to avoid the forced conversions that are rampant in the state.
“The bill is only to prevent religious conversions by inducements,” Mr Bommai said. “A majority of people want similar law to be brought in the state after studying the laws enacted in other states,” he added in a reference to a law in Uttar Pradesh.
BJP-ruled Haryana is also considering similar law.