New Delhi, Feb 5: Against the backdrop of attacks on some churches in Delhi recently, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday assured Christians that security at their religious places will be stepped up as he asserted that any discrimination on the basis of religion will not be tolerated.
He said an impartial inquiry has been ordered into the recent incidents as a delegation of Christian leaders met him to say that five churches were attacked in the last two and a half months in Delhi and holy relics and holy communion were destroyed but police was doing nothing.
The Home Minister told the delegation that the government would not tolerate any discrimination on the basis of caste, colour or religion, a Home Ministry official said. Singh also instructed Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi to make proper arrangements for the security of churches and other places of worship, he said.
The delegation gave a memorandum to him demanding security for Christians and their places of worship. "Police has done nothing and they have described the incidents as simple theft, burglary and trespassing. We told the Home Minister that these were not simple incidents but attack on our religious places," said community leader John Dayal after the meeting.
Following their demand, the Home Minister has directed the police to insert certain provisions of the Indian Penal Code like "provocation with intent to cause riot, hurting religious sentiment" etc in the FIR, in cases of alleged discretion of churches, he said.
Jenis Francis, another community leader, said police have been dismissive of the complaints lodged by Christians about "targeted violence and persecution, both by political non-state actors and other elements".
"We demand that the government take urgent and effective measures to restore rule of law, curb the targeted and communal violence. The guilty must be traced and action under the law should be taken. Police officers must be held accountable for communal crimes in their jurisdiction," he said.
Francis said incidents of alleged attacks on churches have increased in the last six months and demanded setting up of a special investigating team for probing the five incidents of alleged violence against churches. He said the probe should be monitored by the Delhi High Court.