MP police profile Christians, circular withdrawn after protests
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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The controversial circular directing all police stations in MP to profile the Christian community has been withdrawn by the Police Head Quarter (PHQ), official sources said in Bhopal today.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PHQ sources said that the circular has been withdrawn but refused to share details about it.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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