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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Tuition centre illegally used as Christian prayer hall on weekends: Tamil Nadu

A new tuition cum tutorial centre in Gandhi Nagar, Erode was being used to propagate Christianity over the weekends. The owner who rented out the place objected to this and filed a police complaint stating that as he had only given permission for a tuition centre to be run, the tenant should be evicted. Hindu human rights group Hindu Munnani’s local leader also came forward in support of the owner.

But the space continued to be used as a Christian prayer hall next weekend as well. Even as Hindu Munnani cadres went to protest at the centre, police reached the spot. They took both the parties to the police station and tried to mediate. Police got the parties to give a written assurance that they won’t disturb the law and order till the Revenue Officers hold talks to solve the issue and closed down the place temporarily.

Viduthalai Siruthaigal party (VCK) cadres and representatives of the minority religions in other parties came out in support of those who run the prayer hall. The next day Christian organisations and political parties gathered at the Collector’s office to protest against the closure of the prayer hall. VCK, Tamil Tigers and other Christian organisations and political parties took part in the gherao. They raised slogans in support of those who run the prayer hall. Police requested them to give a petition describing their grievances and demands.

General secretary of Youth Christian Progressive Movement gave a petition to the Collector whose content is as follows: ‘We do religious and social work and run a tuition centre in the building we built in the vacant space. Nothing that would disturb the law and order is happening there. But some people act in such a manner to incite communal violence. Legal action should be initiated on them. The closed building should be allowed to operate as a place of worship ‘.

After this, the manager at the Collector’s office filed a police complaint that ‘with the intent to create ruckus, VCK party cadre besieged the Collector office accusing Hindu Munnani of disrupting Christian prayer meetings and issuing death threats to pastors and demanded to ban the organisation. They demonstrated without prior permission in the Collector office premises and threatened me and disrupted my work’.

Based on this complaint, 115 persons belonging to the VCK party and Tamil Tigers were booked under various sections. The petition submitted by the Christian organization mentions that they do ‘social and religious work’ which makes one wonder whether they lure children for conversion by providing free tuition classes as practiced in other parts of the country?

Why was the police unable to take action against those running the prayer hall despite it being clearly illegal to open a place of worship without prior permission? Why did they try to convince the Hindus to amicably settle the matter despite the owner asking for police help to evacuate the Christian proselytizers from the place? Either the police think it’s not that important an issue, or they get cuts from the conversion mafia, or they are afraid of acting against the ‘One true god’ groups fearing blowback from the secular establishment. 




(Featured Image: Representative purpose only)

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