Catholic Bishops meet Karnataka CM, voice concern over proposed anti-conversion law

News Network
September 23, 2021

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Bengaluru, Sep 23: A delegation of Catholic bishops of Karnataka, led by Archbishop of Bangalore Reverend Peter Machado, met Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to voice their opinion over a proposed law to ban religious conversions in the state.

They also spoke about a host of other topics, including inclusion of representatives of Christian managements in committees formed to implement the new National Education Policy (NEP).

In a statement issued here on Thursday said Machado said they had expressed displeasure over recent allegations against the community, terming it “malicious” and “untrue”. The Archbishop of Bangalore Archdiocese highlighted that hundreds of schools, colleges, and hospitals were operated under the aegis of each bishop. “There are about a lakh students but none have been advised to get converted to Christianity. Some minor events might have taken place which have been blown out of proportion now,” he added.

While speaking about the need for an anti-conversion Bill in the Assembly, Hosadurga BJP MLA Goolihatti Shekhar had recently claimed that religious conversions were “rampant” across the state. The MLA had also said 15,000 to 20,000 people, including his own mother, were converted to Christianity in his constituency.

Responding to this, Home Minister Araga Jnanendra had said the state government was considering bringing in a law to regulate religious conversion. “The issue (of religious conversions) has come to the government’s notice. Converting people from one religion to another by inducing them is a punishable offence. We will keep a strict vigil on such activities. There is a wide network working on religious conversions across the country,” Jnanendra had said in his reply in the Assembly.

When asked about the same, Machado said, “Someone is trying to malign us. While the issue is being debated in the Assembly, we have reminded people not to do such things. It is not right if someone approaches people, hands over the book and a cross, and converts them. We, too, have a conscience and moral responsibility. We are not forcing anyone.”

In a memorandum submitted to the CM on Wednesday said the bishops noted that such a law would lead to “unnecessary communal issues and unrest” with many more controversial statements and reactions made following the same.

The memorandum also noted the need to include representation from Christian managements in the NEP implementation committees. “Even though thousands of educational institutions are being managed by members from the community, we would like to bring to your notice that there is no Christian representation in various committees formed to implement NEP,” the letter read.

The bishops also urged Bommai to establish a Christian Development Board under the government to ensure their welfare and address demands made by the community on various fronts.

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News Network
October 15,2021

Mumbai, Oct 15: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Friday called upon the government to come out with a population policy that is acceptable by one and all. 

“While reimagining the country’s development one predicament comes to the fore which appears to concern many. The rapid growth of the country’s population may give rise to many problems in the near future. Therefore, this challenge must be duly considered,” Bhagwat said addressing the annual VijayDashami rally at Nagpur. 

Bhagwat also read out the resolution which was passed on this issue during the Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal (All India Executive Committee) meeting of Sangh held at Ranchi in 2015.

"The ubiquitous and effective implementation of relevant policies pertaining to these matters will require widespread public sensitisation and impartial actions,” he said.

Bhagwat pointed out that in the present circumstances, news of persecution of native Hindus, growing criminalisation and a mounting pressure on them to escape their areas where an imbalanced population growth have surfaced. 

“The violence that broke out following the elections of West Bengal and the pitiable condition of the Hindu people there can also be attributed to the appeasement of barbarous elements by the government and population imbalance,” he said.

“Therefore, a policy that is applicable to all groups in the same fashion is imperative. All of us need to inculcate the habit of considering the collective national interest above everything while coming out of attractive cobweb of milking the parochial group interests,” Bhagwat added.

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News Network
October 15,2021

Kabul, Oct 15: Suicide bombers assaulted a Shiite mosque in southern Afghanistan that was packed with worshippers attending weekly Friday prayers, killing at least 37 people and wounding more than 70, according to a hospital official and an eyewitness.

The attack on the Imam Barga mosque came a week after a bombing claimed by a local Islamic State affiliate killed 46 people at a Shiite mosque in northern Afghanistan.

Murtaza, an eye-witness who like many Afghans goes by one name, said four suicide bombers attacked the mosque. Two detonated their explosives at a security gate, allowing the other two to run inside and strike the congregation of worshippers.

Speaking to The Associated Press by phone, he said Friday prayers are typically attended by around 500 people.

Video footage from the scene showed bodies scattered across blood-stained carpets, with survivors walking around in a daze or crying out in anguish.

A local hospital official was not authorized to brief media and so confirmed the casualty toll on condition of anonymity.

The extremist group, which is opposed to the ruling Taliban, views Shiite Muslims as apostates deserving of death. IS has claimed a number of deadly bombings across the country since the Taliban seized power in August amid the withdrawal of U.S. forces. The group has also targeted Taliban fighters in smaller attacks.

Taliban spokesman Bilal Karimi confirmed the explosion and said an investigation was underway, without providing further details.

The Taliban have pledged to restore peace and security after decades of war. Both the Taliban and IS adhere to a rigid interpretation of Islamic law, but IS is far more radical, viewing itself as part of a worldwide Islamic caliphate that includes better-known branches in Iraq and Syria.

The Taliban and IS are Sunni Muslims, but they are bitterly split by ideology and have fought each other on numerous occasions.

That Taliban have pledged to protect Afghanistan's Shiite minority, which suffered persecution during the last period of Taliban rule, in the 1990s. 

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News Network
October 16,2021

Police have arrested four brothers for allegedly killing an NRI businessman during his visit to Hyderabad.

According to Gajarao Bhupal, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), South Zone (Hyderabad), the arrested accused are identified as - Rayees Jabri, Adil Jabri, Syeed Saleh Jabri and Saad Bin Saleh Jabri. All residents of the Chandrayangutta area of the city.

“The victim and accused Rayees Jabri had used to work together in Dubai. In 2019, while the accused Rayees Jabri was returning to India, the victim had given him a bag of gold without his knowledge, to deliver it in India from Dubai. At the airport, he was arrested with one kilogram of gold,” said Bhupal.

The DCP said that during interrogation, the accused Raees said the victim had promised him financial aid and a job but didn’t do so.

“When the businessman came to India from Dubai, the brothers confronted him on Wednesday and when he refused to fulfil the promises, they decided to kill him,” he added.

Police had registered an FIR into the matter after the victim to stabbed to death on Wednesday. 

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