A church in Madhya Pradesh’s Jhabua district was targeted by a group of Hindutva activists who climbed atop and put up saffron flags. The video of the incident has gone viral on social media platforms showing young men climbing on the church, erecting saffron flags, and chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
The incident happened on January 21, before the Ram Mandir pran pratishtha (consecration) ceremony, The Quint reported.
According to the church’s pastor Narbu Amaliyar, he had never witnessed such incidents in the past. “This happened at around 3 pm after the Sunday prayer. Around 25 men arrived out of nowhere, chanting Jai Sri Ram,” he said.
The pastor said he recognised a few men and also knew their names. “I tried to tell them that this is not right. I told them that we are just worshipers here and they should not trouble us, but they refused to listen,” Amaliyar said.
The local police, refusing to recognised the building as a place of worship, have not filed a case.
“Our team visited the site on Sunday evening. We inquired about what happened. This was a person’s home. It wasn’t a church. So we didn’t file an FIR. The person didn’t want to file a complaint, so no complaint has been filed yet,” Jhabua superintendent of police Agam Jain was quoted by The Quint.
The pastor denied the police version. “It is a church I started back in 2016. Every Sunday, 30-40 people come here for prayers. It’s a place of worship. My home is separate,” he said.
However, the pastor added he received an apology from the Hindutva group and was unsure of whether to file a police complaint. “I will discuss it with the village sarpanch and take a call on it,” he said.