MP police profile Christians, circular withdrawn after protests

Last Updated: Friday, April 15, 2011 - 18:39

Bhopal/New Delhi: The BJP government in
Madhya Pradesh was in the eye of a controversy over a police
circular to profile Christians and churches in the state but
the move was dropped following protests by members of the
minority community.



The controversial circular directing all police stations
in MP to profile the Christian community has been withdrawn by
the Police Head Quarter (PHQ), official sources said in Bhopal
today.
The circular was issued recently by the PHQ directing
all police stations in the state to find out the total number
of Christians in the state, their financial status and places
of stay, the political patronage they enjoy, the source of
funding of Christian schools and the number of existing and
under-construction churches in the state, the sources said.



The move evoked sharp criticism from the community
whose leaders met the State Director General of Police (DGP)
S K Raut to register their protest following which the PHQ
ordered immediate withdrawal of the circular, sources said.



The spokesperson for Catholic Bishops Conference of
Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh Father Anand Muttangal while
terming the issue as serious, demanded a probe into the matter
and also wanted to know the purpose behind issuing such a
circular.



"It appears there was some ulterior motive behind the
issuance of such a circular," he said.
PHQ sources said that the circular has been withdrawn
but refused to share details about it.



Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has also sought a
report on the matter, the sources added.



In New Delhi, Christian leaders and groups expressed
concern over the police department move and said it smacks of
an "agenda".



"It is a disturbing trend that has been found in MP.
What is the intention behind profiling the Christian community
selectively? The government must be having all the data,"
Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) spokesperson Babu
Joseph said.



Father Anand Muttungal, spokesperson of Bhopal Diocese,
said if the government wanted to know the source of their
income, they could have asked the society concerned while data
on population has already been collected during the Census.



"There is an agenda (behind this)," he said. "The motive
of the officials seems not to gather information and suggests
something ulterior," he added.



"The selective profiling of one community smacks of a
bias...it is nothing new about the RSS, BJP and their
affiliates," Joseph said, adding, the matter is of serious
concern to the community and calls for attention of the
Central government.



PTI



First Published: Friday, April 15, 2011 - 18:39

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