Andhra Pradesh, February 21, 2013: Pas. D. Naveen Kumar and his fellow pastors were arrested at Yadagirigutta and remanded to jail at Bhongiri District of Nalgonda, Andhra Pradesh. The pastor n his associate were arrested at scene of the crime on the complaint given by one Srinivas. The Pastor was invited to offer prayers by a family on the occasion of a birthday at Tulasi Garden, which is proposed colony of 100 cottages under construction. These are the daily wage laborers who had migrated from outside. While hey were attending the family prayer. some reportedly BJP and RSS volunteers attacked them and dragged them to the police station on false allegations of conversion. The police at Yadagirigutta framed charges under sections 295 A & 298 of the Indian Penal Code for hurting religious sentiments and blasphemy of other gods
According to the sub-inspector, they were not supposed to preach in the temple towns, according to a Government Order Nos. 746 and 747 and hence were arrested. Franklin Sudhaker of the Andhra Pradesh chapter of the All India Christian Council took them to the Bhongiri Muncif Court where they were remand till 11 February, 2013. He is also working with Advocate P. Sridher for their bail. Pastors Naveen and Bro. Balraj who were also earlier arrested and remanded to Bhongiri Sub-Jail on 28.1.2013. The CSF has a copy of the Remand Report from the police station. A petition was given to Bhongiri Town Dy. Superintendent of Police, M. Srinivasa by a rally of 200 about Christians from the area.
Bajrang Dal, Durga Vahini and Vishwa Hindu Parishad after giving a warning to the couples in Hyderabad against indulging in ‘western and immoral’ culture, made sure that their cadres went on rampage literally on Valentine’s day taking out rally’s near lovers point across the city.
Hyderabad police was forced to shut down all the gardens and parks in the city fearing any attack on couples or any untoward situation from Right wing hooligans. These groups before Valentine’s Day issued warning to couples that if they were seen together around streets or parks they will force to get married according to Hindu tradition.
But the moral policing drive to catch unmarried couples and forcefully solemnizing their marriage by Bajrang Dal and VHP became impediment on their own head, when one of those couples which those groups arranged marriage turned out to be brother and sister.
Rajesh and Gautami were first cousins roaming around a park at Kaushaiguda area of Hyderabad; when right wing moral police got hold of them and forcefully solemnized their marriage at nearby Sai Baba temple. Interestingly those siblings didn’t reveal their relationship to Hindu group activists.
Later when the parents of those cousin siblings got to know about their unholy marriage, they registered a complaint against Bajrang Dal activists in the police station. It also turned out that Gautami was still a minor. While right wing activists maintained that it is not their fault as couples didn’t reveal the same while their forceful marriage was arranged.
According to Hindu Dharmashastra and Mithakshara Hindu law of south India marriage of near siblings like first cousin is immoral and unlawful.
But it was not the first time Bajrang Dal has chased siblings. In 2009 at Ujjain Madhya Pradesh, brother and sister was beaten up badly by Right wing goons when they were travelling on their bike at near their college.
In Hyderabad and its outskirts on Valentine’s Day Bajrang Dal, Durga Vahini and VHP activists rounded up four couples and forcefully solemnized their wedding.
Many feminists and social activists condemned Hyderabad police of failing to protect couples during Valentine’s Day, and on succumbing to the right wing pressure to close down all the parks for the day.
Many Hindu religious leaders and general public were also disturbed by the acts of right wing Hindu groups of forcefully marrying of couples as in Hindu religion marriage is not a mere contract it is a special religious bonding.
Meanwhile Muslim groups were not far behind in moral and religious policing, activists of Muslim Girls Association, and Girls Islamic organization toured parks and coffee houses to catch Muslim couples or girls in Hijab.
Muslim groups though didn’t forcefully formalize any Nikah, but they distributed books on Islamic principles of chastity and given them lectures on same.
Last year on Valentine’s Day, GIO roamed around lovers points along with Urdu media to catch Muslim youngsters and day after those poor couples became headlines. This must have scared Muslim couples who were not as visible as last year.
Andhra Pradesh, February 12, 2012: Pastor B.Rakshanandam aged 39 years residing in Balanagar Industrial slums doing his ministry since 1995. Pastor Rakshananadam is having a gathering of around 100 believers having a worship place above his house. He had given recently given Baptism to 10 believers on last Friday. Angered by the baptism, the Muslim neighbours in the locality forced Pastor to stop his Sunday worship for the last 2 Sundays. The Pastor reported the harassment to the owner of his house. The owner in turn called those who were asking the Pastor to stop the service and said that all that they are doing is only prayer and good works and they should not trouble them. Thus an amicable settlement was reached.
A police case was about to be registered against him, however the intervention of the house owner brought the matter to a peaceful conclusion. Please pray for Pastor Rakshananadam and his congregation.
Andhra Church proposes PA Sangma for President of India *NIA: 4 Maharashtra blasts & Malegaon linked
Andhra Pradesh, May 01, 2012: The Andhra Pradesh Federation of Churches (APFC) is a state level apex body and an umbrella organization of the mainline Churches of various Christian Denominations represented by the Bishops / Heads of Churches in A.P. It is an ecumenical fellowship of the Churches and Dioceses of the Catholic, Church of South India (CSI), Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Mennonite, Salvation Army, Seventh Day Adventist, Assemblies of God, Pentecostal / Evangelical Churches and other Christian Denominations.
The APFC proposes candidature of Sri P.A. Sangma for the post of the President of India for the following valid and justifiable reasons. Our beloved country is a beautiful mosaic of multiple cultures, ethnic groups, languages, religions, geographical regions and states. Therefore, it is proper that the candidates who occupy the post of the President of India, who is the Head of the Nation representing the country to the world at large, must reflect our plurality and unity in diversity. This will not only reflect the real picture of the country to other nations, this is sure to foster our national integration. Sri P.A. Sangma is the best candidate now available for us to fulfill this task. Because, he belongs to the Tribal community, and no Tribal / Adivasi was given the post of the President of India so far. He hails from the North East of India, which is not given proper representation in the Government of India and so feels alienated. He is a Christian by religion; though the members of other Minority communities like the Muslims and Sikhs were given the post of the President not Christians. It is the turn of a Christian now.
Apart from these commendable reasons, Sri P.A. Sangma possesses all other qualifications required for the post. He is a scholar in law and practiced as advocate. He ably rendered service as the Chief Minister of Meghalaya and Union Minister several times. Above all, he gained national fame as the successful Speaker of the Lok Sabha who proved to be amicable and impartial to all the Political Parties.
Hence, the APFC appeals to all the Political Parties, Members of the Legislative Bodies and to others concerned to recommend the candidature of Sri P.A. Sangma for the post of the President of India keeping in mind the above mentioned compelling reasons. May our country be seen by others to be doing justice and fairness to all its citizens irrespective of their caste and creed, language and culture, and their religion and region!
Most Rev. Dr. Gali Bali, Bishop of Guntur,
President of A.P. Bishops’ Council (APBC) &
General Secretary of A.P. Federation of Churches (APFC).
NIA: 4 Maharashtra blasts and those at Malegaon linked
New Delhi, Apr 30, 2012: The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing saffron terror cases, has found evidence that blasts in Purna, Parbhani, Jalna and Nanded between 2003 and 2006 are all connected with the perpetrators of Malegaon blasts, although in a peculiar way. All these blasts, in Marathwada region of central Maharashtra, were carried out by proteges of Sunil Joshi, the mastermind of the Malegaon and Samjhauta Express blasts.
The agency has found that Himanshu Panse, Sanjay Chaudhari and several of their associates, all accused in the series of blasts through 2003-2006 in central Maharashtra, were actually trained by Joshi’s group that allegedly executed the Malegaon, Samjhauta Express, Ajmer Sharif and Mecca Masjid blasts.
In fact, it was Joshi’s group that had taught Panse how to assemble bombs and arranged for his training in Pune’s Singhgadh area and other places including the Bhonsala Military School, sources said.
A senior NIA official said, “There is evidence that Panse and some others from his group used to frequently go to Madhya Pradesh, particularly Dewas, and had some connection with Sunil Joshi. We have learnt that Joshi’s group was in fact training them since early 2000 as part of their larger plan to target Muslims across the country. Panse and others were Joshi’s foot-soldiers.”
Despite this close connection, however, NIA says the Marathwada blasts were not sanctioned by Joshi or Abhinav Bharat. “Joshi’s group had trained these men as a sleeper module, who would be used later when the group was fully prepared to execute big attacks. However, the overenthusiastic Panse group started making bombs and attack plans on its own, much to the detriment of Joshi’s plans,” said the official.
“After the first couple of blasts, they were even reprimanded by the Joshi group for executing what the group called ‘chillar blasts’,” another official said. Sources said Joshi’s group also feared that with their reckless blasts, Panse’s group was likely to expose the larger designs of Hindu terror. “And that’s exactly what happened in the 2006 Nanded blasts in which the bomb meant to be exploded in Aurangabad went off in the house of one of the accused, killing Panse. Thankfully for Joshi, his group’s name did not figure on the radar then.”
This development has now brought all Hindu terror cases, except the recent attacks and arrests in Mewat district of Haryana, under one umbrella of the Joshi group. While the Nanded blast has been investigated by the CBI, the other Marathwada blasts have been chargesheeted by Maharashtra ATS.
Inclusiveness is the byword and exclusiveness is violence to our social fabric today. The social networking facilities open up the avenue for relationship without all the barriers of color, cast and creed.
The unity for which we pray is not merely a “comfortable” notion of friendliness and co-operation but requires a willingness to dispense with the competition between us, reflected Bishop Dr. Prakash Mallavarapu, of Vijayawada.
We need to open ourselves to each other, to offer gifts to and receive gifts from one another, so that we might truly enter into the new life in Christ, which is the only true victory, the prelate added.
There is room for everyone in God’s plan of salvation. Through His death and resurrection, Christ embraces all irrespective of winning or losing, “that whoever believes in him may have eternal life” (Jn 3,15). It is sufficient to believe in Him, and we will find it easier to overcome evil with good, said the bishop.
Rev. Bernard Apel who led a delegation of German Protestants stated that he was representing the World Council of Churches and their presence was a colorful dot in Vijayawada’s Ecumenical fest signifying the global dimension of the unity week.
Heads of different Church denominations with a few of their faithful gathered at the Laity centre, Vijayawada to celebrate the Christian Unity Week on Friday, January 20.
Catholic Bishop Dr. Prakash Mallavarapu, of Vijayawada described the event a great step towards affirming our beliefs in Christ Jesus, the one foundation of Christianity.
The local CSI Bishop, Gowada Daivashirvadam said that the movement of ecumenical unity is a new awareness that is slowly creeping beneath the suffering body of Christ which craves to remain united under Jesus Christ, the head and Lord of all humanity.
He also reminded the audience of the prayer which Jesus himself made in John 17:21 ‘that they may all be one’.
The other church leaders of Lutherans, Salvation Army, Pentecostals, Believers Church, also expressed their longing for unity in various ways.
The prayer service opened with Bishop Prakash carrying the Sacred Scriptures and leading the procession followed by all the other Church leaders.
Explaining the background Fr. Vijay said that this year’s theme comes from St Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, which promises the transformation of human life through the victory of Christ’s resurrection.
The theme of this year’s unity prayer was chosen by participating churches in Poland, who reflected on how their own faith sustained them through the many upheavals in their history,
In his presidential speech, Bishop Prakash said he was overjoyed to see many representative churches present for the gathering. He also stated that the Christian population amounts to over 10% of the total population of the city.
Representatives of local CRI sang hymns, bhajans and participated in shared prayers.
- sr. benigna menezes