NCM to probe complaints of anti-Christian speeches in MP

New Delhi: Taking note of the alleged anti-Christian speeches made during the Narmada Samajik Kumbh Mela in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh last month, a minority panel has decided to conduct an on-the-spot investigation into the matter.

A full team of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) will visit the state soon to examine the complaints received by various Christian bodies in this regard.

NCM Vice Chairman H T Sangliana said hate speeches were allegedly made during the mela attacking Christian missionaries.

The Commission discussed the issue threadbare in its meeting held last week and decided that "given the gravity of the complaints relating to anti-Christian news and propaganda...the full commission will visit Madhya Pradesh."

Sangliana said though no untoward incident took place during the three-day mela from February 10, the spirit of the speeches made during the fair were not the ones that promoted integrity and unity among various communities.

"We are absolutely firm against such hate speeches. They should be banned. We have received complaints and we will examine the issue after going there. Meanwhile, we recommend that civil societies should strongly and loudly come out against such communal propaganda," Sangliana said.

An estimated two million people are said to have participated in the event.

Even before the event took off, several Christian organisations expressed concerns that the festival could be used to trigger anti-Christian violence in the state. After the event came to an end, the NCM received many complains alleging Christians and Christian bodies were put in poor light during the Mela.

The event has faced opposition from the Christian community and Congress party on the conversion issue.

Madhya Pradesh Congress president Suresh Pachouri had also written a letter to Home Minister P Chidambaram and state Governor Rameshwar Thakur to draw their attention to the event and raised the issue of religious conversions and distribution of pamphlets and literature depicting Christians in poor light prior to the Kumbh.