Church in Dwarka Vandalized

Tension was high in Dwarka on 28th November. Angry rightwing hindutva group gathered around a recently warehouse-turned-church which was hosting its first prayer gathering. As reported in Indian Express, Vinod Bansal, a Bajrang Dal spokesperson, said: “We came to know from locals that there were a few people who opened a church in a godown and were forcing young boys to join. They were trying to forcibly convert people. We sent a team who protested outside the proposed church on Sunday and raised slogans. The members only damaged the board; they didn’t beat up anyone. We would never touch a religious place, but these people opened a fake church in a residential area.” Adding to this, Express reports: Vivaan George, said on Monday: “We were only trying to open a church here but members of the Bajrang Dal came and threatened people. We can’t fight with these people. People came today to show solidarity, but many are accusing us of trying forceful religious conversion. We are going to our headquarters in Punjab now, but we will come back next week with pastor Ankur Narula and talk to local authorities.” Speaking to The Wire about the incident, an eyewitness and the coordinator at the church, Robinson, said that the mob had started collecting from around 8:30 am and grew to more than 100 people. “They first chanted ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Goli maaro‘ slogans, after which we tried to calm them down. They started abusing us and then climbed the tables that were kept outside. Then they started breaking the board using hammers and lathis that they had brought with them,” he said. According to the complaint filed by the church, on Sunday night at around 12 am, two men on a bike “forcefully tried to enter the church and threatened the people”. “They abused us and warned us of consequences. We asked them to leave, not wanting to create a scene,” Puneet, another eyewitness who also volunteers at the church, said. Later on Sunday, when the worshippers had once again collected in the church for evening prayers, another attempted attack took place. The Wire was present when two men on bikes tried to create a ruckus. The man who was sitting at the back of the bike was caught by the people inside the church. While the police has denied this allegation, some churchgoers claimed that the man who got away had a pistol with him. The Wire was unable to verify this allegation. He was identified as a local of the area who had been present during the morning’s vandalism as well. The Wire further reports "Members of the Bajrang Dal said residents in the area had issues with the construction of the church and had complained to the police about the same. They also alleged that the church was conducting “forced conversions”, though no evidence of this has been provided. Rohit, a Bajrang Dal activist, said that he lived in the area and was upset after “they [the church] assured us that they would leave from here but then on Sunday they did their programme”.

Other Informations
Source of information News Report Place of incident Place of worship :Warehouse turned Church
Number of victims 0 Identity of victim Christians
Location of incident Place of worship Was cross FIR filed Yes : under the DDMA Act, which prohibits large gatherings. Around 15-20 people associated with the church were booked for violating social distancing.
perpetrator Organizational Right Wing Hindutva Details of the FIR

under IPC sections of public nuisance and is still in police custody.

Investigating agency Police Victim's lawyer
Role of police Need confirmation : under the DDMA Act, which prohibits large gatherings. Around 15-20 people associated with the church were booked for violating social distancing. Current status Under investigation
Charges Filed Other details
judgement Reference other information A day after the site of a proposed church was allegedly vandalised by Bajrang Dal members in Delhi’s Dwarka, members of the religious group called Ankur Narula Ministries on Monday left the place and headed back to Punjab,
Civil society reports

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Main Information
Date of incident: November 28, 2021
Nature of Violence
  • Attack on religious festivals/place of worship
  • Demolition/Attack on property
  • Vandalism/Hooliganism
  • Causal factors
  • Allegation of religious conversion
  • Name of the victim : Not specific individual(s)
    Name of Perpetrator
    State Delhi
    District/City South West Delhi
    Party In Power / Incidents AAP - Aam Aadmi Party
    Media link