On the morning of Sunday, 3rd October, a church in Solanipuram, Roorkee, Uttarakhand, a group of the agitated mob of more than 200 barged into an ongoing morning prayer. As reported to the wire by Prio Sadhana Lanse, the church pastor’s wife, “over 200 men and women belonging to the local Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Bajrang Dal and Bharatiya Janata Party’s youth wing, barged into the church and started vandalising it, while beating the churchgoers.”
Speaking to The Wire, Lanse said that the attackers went on a rampage and smashed everything that came in their way. “The frenzied mob, shouting slogans like ‘Vande mataram’ and ‘Bharat mata ki jai’, barged into the church, which is on the first floor of the building,” Lanse said. “They started beating our volunteers and the women attackers bashed up our womenfolk.”
Miss Lanse had registered an FIR under Sections 295, 296, 395, 323, 504, 506, and 427, which deal with defiling a place of worship, disturbing a religious assembly, dacoity, voluntarily causing hurt, insults which disturb the public peace, criminal intimidation and mischief causing damages greater than Rs 50.
Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar on Monday, a day after the incident, said strict action will be taken against those who vandalized a church in Haridwar’s Roorkee The police are yet to arrest in the case.
The Hindu reported that Mr. Kumar said incidents of assault and vandalism are “not acceptable” under any circumstances. “We have instructed officers to take strict action against those involved in the act,” he said. Mr. Kumar said an adequate number of police personnel have been deployed in the church and surrounding areas.