Police in Assam begin discriminatory church survey, Christians resist move
As anti-Christian attacks continue to rise across India, police in Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled Assam state have begun a discriminatory survey targeting Christian institutions. The invasive probe was ordered by the Assam government seeking information on the number of churches in the region, along with details of people involved in religious conversions, putting hundreds of thousands of Christians at risk of arbitrary arrest and attacks.
However, Christians in Assam are pushing back against the discriminatory probe.
“Catholic parishes and institutions have refused to give details because the government and state chief minister himself has disowned it,” said Archbishop John Moolachira.
Following the Christians’ objections to the survey, the state’s Chief Minister disassociated himself from the survey.
Recently, a prominent opposition party, the Trinamool Congress, urged the Vatican to raise the issue of attacks on churches in Assam state and the state-sponsored persecution of Christians during its diplomatic fora with the Indian government.
They stated that the BJP government in the state has institutionalized the persecution and targeting of Christians and churches using state machinery and intelligence agencies to deny Christians the right to practice their faith and target those who wish to embrace Christianity.
Hindu extremist group calls for violence in massive public rally amid police presence
Location: Palanpur, Surat, Gujarat
Bajrang Dal took out a massive rally in Surat, where songs glamorizing the use of violence to convert India into a Hindu nation were played aloud from the speakers.
The rally was undertaken in the presence of dozens of police officials. pic.twitter.com/CPfXUmx7v2
— HindutvaWatch (@HindutvaWatchIn) January 9, 2023
During the rally, violent hate slogans were played aloud on speakers throughout a public roadway.
The rally continued uninterrupted despite the presence of dozens of police officials.
Muslim man arrested under false terror charges granted bail
A 28-year-old Muslim man who was arrested under India’s draconian anti-terror law after he was charged with false allegations, has now been granted bail.
He had been arrested under India’s draconian anti-terror legislation, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), which has been misused as a tool by the authoritarian BJP government to keep Muslims, human rights defenders, and vocal critics incarcerated for long periods under false charges.
The man, Abdullah Saood Ansai, was arrested for his alleged affiliation with the banned Muslim group Popular Front of India (PFI).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu supremacist government on September 27 banned the PFI, a prominent Muslim organization. Over 350 people have been arrested in dozens of raids by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) since then.
The crackdown on the PFI has been widely condemned by civil rights groups. Hundreds of Muslim men have been arrested under the draconian anti-terror laws.
The ban on multiple peaceful Muslim organizations in India for alleged “anti-national” activity is in stark contrast to the way violent Hindu supremacist groups are allowed to form and inflict violence against minorities freely.