Tensions flared in GTB Enclave on Sunday, August 20, as more than a hundred members of right-wing groups including Bajrang Dal, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and Vishva Hindu Parishad gathered outside the local police station.
The crowd chanted ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in response to an incident where members of the Christian community were allegedly assaulted by Bajrang Dal members while praying.
The incident transpired at Siyyon Prathna Bhawan in the Tahirpur area, where a group of Christians was conducting their regular Sunday prayers. Suddenly, a faction entered the Bhawan, brandishing speakers that blared messages of creating a “Hindu rashtra” or Hindu nation.
Eyewitnesses report that they were told to cease their prayers, with the intruders declaring that the country was no longer secular and that the rules had changed.
According to the eyewitnesses, the attackers reportedly tore up Bibles and caused extensive damage inside the church.
The incident comes amid a backdrop of rising attacks on religious minorities. The United Christian Forum (UCF) has documented a significant increase in such attacks since 2014, with the current year seeing no respite. Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh lead in the number of incidents, with violence against Christians reported in 23 states this year alone.
With India set to host the G20 summit, these incidents assume a global significance, shedding light on the Modi government’s record on democratic principles and its treatment of religious minorities.