Guwahati: Days after a Bajrang Dal leader in southern Assam’s Barak Valley threatened to beat up Hindus visiting churches on Christmas, he clarified his stance Sunday, saying the outfit may start “awareness initiatives” to dissuade people.
“We will not beat them but will definitely stop them. There are ways to restrict. We might talk to them or start awareness initiatives,” Mithun Nath, Bajrang Dal’s Cachar district general secretary, told ThePrint over the phone.
At a working committee meeting of the Bajrang Dal in Silchar on 3 December, Nath had allegedly said, “If Hindus go and visit churches on Christmas day, they will be taught a lesson…They are locking temples in Shillong and we are celebrating with them. This can’t be allowed.”
He was referring to the alleged closure of the Vivekananda Centre, a part of Ramakrishna Mission, by the Khasi Student’s Union (KSU) in Meghalaya’s capital Shillong. Former Meghalaya governor Tathagata Roy had also tweeted about the incident.
Nath, however, stressed that he won’t backtrack on his statement and claimed he had only said it because he wanted Hindus to “maintain self-respect”.
“I am not against Christians or celebrating Christmas. I just told people of my religion to have some self respect. How does my statement become a national issue?” he added.
News agency PTI reported that the Cachar district administration has asked the Assam Police to investigate the alleged inflammatory speech made by Nath. Cachar Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli was earlier quoted in The Hindu as saying that the district has taken a note of the diktat and a case has been filed suo motu.
“I don’t fear my arrest. My conscience is clear. We, the Hindus, have never broken a mosque or church to construct a temple. We enjoy every festival — be it Eid or Christmas,” said 39-year-old Nath, who has been associated with the Bajrang Dal for 20 years.
Also read: Allahabad HC says earlier verdict, which CM Adityanath cited for ‘love jihad’ law, incorrect
‘Should boycott Christmas celebrations’
Nath also said that Hindus in the Barak Valley have always celebrated all religious festivals together.
But added, “Since the past three months, our Hindu brothers and non-tribals from Assam are being tortured by goons in Meghalaya. Shops are closed, they have shut down our temples. I have all evidence. Here in Cachar, the Mizos took away land belonging to Assam. Are we born to tolerate all this?
“We should boycott the celebrations (Christmas). Some people just want entertainment. In Silchar, almost 200 Hindus will visit the Church on Christmas against 10 odd Christians,” he added.
Also read: VHP asks Bajrang Dal, Durga Vahini to meet Hindu families & caution them against ‘love jihad’
Bajran Dal Bajran bali ki jai 😆😅😄😃 haaa who know this group i never heard of it at all from where this group Bajran bali or Bhahu Bali .. and you sud stop Christian gping to Mandir too.. Kali Laxmi puja was well prepared but Christmas cnt be prepared wow and who the hell will stop
Ohh never mind it’s bajrang dal and not BJP. But either ways I don’t like parties with religious ideologies.
I once wanted this party to rise and dominate India. Now I am waiting for it to doom.
Some ppl r born to destroy social fabric, unity and to spread communal hatred. May God forgive them and put some sense in their dead brains.
Somehow the reported closure or temple is not widely reported. This is what the media is about and print is not different. You do selective reporting . When it’s Hindus or Hindu symbols are abused or targeted you ignore. But anything to the contrary you start jumping. I want to support you, but till you do impartial reporting there is no point in wasting my money.
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