CHANDIGARH: Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Monday told the assembly that the priest of the church that was demolished in Hisar’s Kaimri village had been luring Hindu youths to his faith by promising to get them brides.
The CM, who raised the issue in the House himself, told the MLAs that Kaimri villagers were opposed to the “so-called church”. A group of attackers had torn down the under-construction church on Sunday.
Khattar said initially the priest, Subhash Chand, had started preaching from the Bible to the 10 to 12 workers involved in constructing the structure on February 8. “Some people from Kaimri and Hisar had opposed it then, but the village sarpanch had settled the matter,” he said, adding that an FIR was registered against 14 people on the priest’s complaint.
The CM also gave details of a complaint made by a village youth who alleged that Chand had made objectionable comments about Hindu gods. “The youth was shunted out and beaten up when he opposed the priest’s statement,” Khattar said, quoting from the youth’s complaint.
Soon after Khattar’s statement, Congress MLAs, including Karan Singh Dalal, stood up to blame an organization connected with the BJP for the attack on the church. Dalal suggested the constitution of an all-party committee to look into the issue.
“They (Congressmen) have been trying to divide people in the name of communalism,” state finance minister Captain Abhimanyu said. He said a person named in the FIR had connections with a senior Congress functionary.
Gyan Chand Gupta, BJP MLA from Panchkula, also blamed the Congress for giving the matter a communal colour.
Ranbir Singh Gangwa, INLD MLA from Nalwa, told the assembly that some people from the village had highlighted the issue to gain benefit in the panchayat polls. Kaimri village falls under Nalwa assembly constituency. “After the villagers, some people who had introduced themselves as Bajrang Dal workers also opposed the construction of the church,” said Gangwa. He said villagers of Kaimri and nearby villages held a panchayat on Monday to declare that they did not demolish the church.
Khattar, however, said there was need “for a check on works with wrong intentions.”