The Laban circle of the Khasi Students Union (KSU) has condemned last Sunday’s rally supposedly taken out by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) during a Palm Sunday church service.
The VHP, a right-wing Hindu nationalist outfit with ties to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), took out a procession, according to the KSU, on Sunday and stopped at Iewdak in Laban, which is directly across from the local Presbyterian church.
Clips of the processions have been widely shared on social media since then. The KSU accused the rally participants of disturbing the peace, tranquility and religious harmony.
The pressure group also claimed that hundreds of two wheelers, some of whose riders were not wearing helmets, cars and buses intentionally stopped outside the church while a service was going on inside and chanted loud religious slogans like “Jai Shree Ram” for 10 minutes or more, which disturbed the service and stirred fear in the churchgoers.
“This was done with a malafide intention to provoke the Christians of the state and to instil in them a fear of the other (Hindu) religion,” the KSU said today.
According to the group, passersby heard some rally participants shouting that Meghalaya would be converted to a Hindu state and that a 2002 Gujarat Riot-style event would take place in Meghalaya too.
The KSU also accused the “spineless and cowardly” police in Laban of not doing anything to disperse the processionists. The procession then moved towards St John’s Parish Church but here locals intervened and forced the police to act, whereby the rally diverted towards Last Stop.
Any suggestion that the rally was taken out on the occasion of Ram Navami is insupportable as the holiday fell on March 30 this year, the KSU said, and not on Sunday.
The union asked the authorities to be on higher alert during Good Friday and Easter. It also urged the district administration to take appropriate measures against the organisers of the rally and against the police personnel who failed to act.
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