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Sunday, May 29, 2022

Christians conduct prayer meeting in front of temple in Andhra, Govt claims it is a ‘secular’ space

A shocking incident of Christians praying in front of a temple in Andhra Pradesh has come to fore. The incident happened in East Godavari district which is notorious for rampant conversion. Andhra government’s official fact check account claimed that it is a common area. But it is visible from even the video posted by the account that it was temple space which was used by Christians.

A video of Christians conducting prayer in front of a temple in Andhra went viral in social media. The incident reportedly happened in Gangavaram village in East Godavari. In the video some Christians can be seen conducting prayers and a temple is nearby. Social media users who posted the video claimed that a prayer meeting was being conducted in front of a Rama temple.

When Hindus asked them to leave, the pastor allegedly booked a rape case on those who protested. BJP took notice of the issue and Vishnu Vardan Reddy, the General Secretary of APBJP, Sunil Deodhar and many others shared the video and questioned the appeasement policy of the YSRCP government which led to the issue

Andhra government’s official fact check account on Twitter put out a thread saying it was not a religious issue. It said that police investigation found that it is a street where a shed has been put up and used to hold social and religious activities. It claimed that a Christian woman, Kadha Mangayamma had arranged for the prayer meeting and distributed food to the attendees. Her son Kadha Srinivas was allegedly upset that his mother was wasting money by organising such meetings.

India Today reported that Srinivas objected to the meeting which was filmed by his friend Venkata Ramana who posted on social media that a prayer meeting was being conducted in a temple. But in the videos shared in social media protesting Hindus can be heard saying that the space belongs to the Rama temple and they should vacate it.

In the video posted by AP fact check account it can be clearly seen that the so-called shed is part of the temple. If it is a street as claimed by the government, the question of how it can be encroached to build a shed arises. The street appears too narrow to build a place for social gatherings. Dried mango leaves tied at the pillars of the shed can also be seen in the video.

It should be noted that the fact check handle of the Andhra government had claimed that the cross like light settings used in Tirupati were not that and threatened legal action against those who shared it. But they were removed and light settings which looked like Kumbh were replaced later. Many reacted to the current issue saying that the fact check handle has fumbled in the past by glossing over the facts.

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