The Legal Rights Observatory (LRO) has urged the union housing & urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri not to allot land to Presbyterians to build a church in New Delhi.
In a letter written to union minister, the LRO has cited ‘intense persecution of Niam Khasi followers’ by radical Presbyterians in Meghalaya.
Also read: Meghalaya: Legal rights body demands to remove Bible from Civil Hospital
The Legal Rights Observatory (LRO) is a legal rights organization affiliated with the Hindu-nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
It is led by Vinay Joshi, a former RSS worker.
According to Joshi, the group consists of 150 volunteers.
He takes all decisions about filing legal petitions on behalf of the group.
Joshi, however, denies the group’s connection to the RSS.
The letter cited media reports stating delegation of Presbyterian Church leaders headed by Pastor S S Majaw met the union minister in Shillong last month urging the Centre to allot plot of land to construct Presbyterian Church in New Delhi.
Also read: Meghalaya NIT removes Ganesha idol
The letter further desired to apprise the minister about the ‘ground reality in Meghalaya’ and says the legal body strongly objects any such allotment of plot for Presbyterian Church in the national capital.
The letter further alleged since last few years, it has been observing extreme religious radicalization of Meghalaya society under guidance of Presbyterian Church leaders.
“Dozens of cases noticed across Khasi and Jaintia Hills districts of Meghalaya where this Christian denomination is in demographic majority,” the letter stated.
The letter also cited the incident where Jaintia Students Union vehemently opposed installation of a Ganesh Idol at NIT Shillong campus.
The LRO in the letter alleged the said student union was provoked by Presbyterian Church leaders forcing the NIT administration to remove it.
Notably, following that incident, the LRO had written to Meghalaya chief secretary, health secretary and deputy commissioner of East Khasi Hills district requesting to remove Bible copies from Shillong Civil Hospital.
It had said, the move has been initiated to maintain secular nature of medical facilities as per newly established ‘NIT Idol Precedent’.
“Virulent ideology preached, inculcated and spread by Presbyterian Christian leaders have vitiated socio-cultural atmosphere of the State,” the letter further stated.
It further said if the government allots land to such a aggressive, radical Christian denomination to build Church in national capital, the chances are high that they would play same dirty game in Delhi ‘to create divide within society’.
“Within last five years Meghalaya’s ancient Niam Khasi religion and its followers, which are in numerical minority have came under ruthless persecution by Presbyterian radical Christian elements,” it also alleged.
“Mylliem incidence of denial of funeral right to Niam Khasi priest, attack and destruction of ancient Niam Khasi religions holy place Lum Sohpetbneng are few prominent cases of persecution by Presbyterian Christian radicals in Meghalaya,” the letter also stated.
It also alleged many cases are not reported due to pressure by Church on followers of indigenous faith victims.
The legal body has also contemplating of writing to the Prime Minister and union home minister is this regard.