By NewsGram Staff Writer
Amidst the intensified attacks on churches and places of worship in general, the Delhi High Court while hearing a plea on the security of churches has come out with a conciliatory statement saying, “There should not be any kind of attack on any kind of religious place in the country.”
Expressing its displeasure over the attacks, the court said, “This is something which is agitating all of us. There should not be any attack of any kind on any religious place.
“India is a pluralist society which has survived over thousands of years. We have lived with harmony with each other. If we wish to survive as a country, we have to continue that harmony,” Justice Mridul said.
The court also observed that irrespective of religion “all places of worship need to be protected”.
“Whether it’s a church, temple, gurdwara, mosque, we have to make sure that all religious places are equally protected,” the court said.
This statement comes after a public interest litigation (PIL) that was filed in court for seeking protection of religious rights of Christians, was termed as “communal” by the Centre.
The PIL filed by advocate Reegan S. Bell asked authorities to compensate the places of worship that were attacked and to ensure they are restored to their original form.
The plea urged the court to seek action-reports from the central and Delhi governments and Delhi Police regarding the attacks and efforts made by them to secure these places.
A court-monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe was also announced at that time.
While asking why the petition was limited to Churches, Advocate Anil Soni, appearing on behalf of the Union Home Ministry said, “There are attacks on temples, gurdwaras and mosques too. No one wants to talk about that. You (petitioner) should be concerned with all religions.”
“At least 200 temples were vandalised, 30 gurdwaras and 14 mosques were vandalised along with six churches in the national capital last year as per Delhi Police statistics. We can’t give preference to one religion. We are for all religious places,” he contented.
The court has transferred the plea to the roster bench of the chief justice who hears the PILs. The matter is scheduled for hearing on April 29.
According to Senior advocate Adish C. Aggarwala, six churches have been vandalised in Delhi since December but no arrests have been made.
Saying the government had failed to prevent the attacks, the plea urged the court to seek action taken report from the central and Delhi governments and Delhi Police regarding the attacks and efforts made by them to secure these places.