Pratapgarh: Christmas celebrations at a community center in Rajasthan’s Pratapgarh district were disrupted December 20 night by a local right-wing group who accused the organizers of trying to convert their guests to Christianity.
According to “Masih Shakti Samiti,” (Jesus power committee), the organizers of the event, some people barged into the community center at around 8.30 pm and created a ruckus, pulling down the modest decorations that they had put up and throwing around other literature and books.
The incident comes days after fringe groups in some towns of Uttar Pradesh threatened to disrupt Christmas and New Year celebrations in private schools. One such group had called such activities “a step toward forced conversions” of Hindu students, prompting the state police to alert district police chiefs across the state to ensure there were no disruptions.
The community center, a government building, is right in front of the Collector and the Superintendent of Police’s office. The organizers say they got access to the community center because they had applied for permission from the district authorities.
In a video shot on a camera phone later, the men can be seen rummaging through the books and some literature in the presence of a policeman to show the evidence to back up their charge of illegal religion conversion. “They are trying to convert innocent villagers,” a voice in the video shouts as the man picked up a book.
No formal complaint has been filed, either against the Christian group or the people who disrupted the event.
Two members of the organizing team were the only ones detained. They were taken to the police station for questioning and released late at night.