Christians, Hindus clash in Punjab


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PTI

Batala, February 20: Members of Christian and Hindu communities clashed and indulged in vandalizing public property  in Batala on Saturday over publication of a picture of Jesus Christ in an allegedly objectionable manner, prompting authorities to clamp an indefinite curfew.

Police said members of the Christian community took out a protest march through the town during which some of them turned violent and set afire six two-wheelers, damaged three buses, a shopping mall and around 50 shops in different areas.

They were protesting against the publication of a picture of Jesus Christ in a book by a Delhi-based publisher recently which was reproduced in some newspapers in the state.

Protestors belonging to Hindu community also took to the streets and tried to set on fire a church, police said adding, the damage to the place of worship was minimal as the fire brigade and the police reached the spot in time.

Sub-Divisional Magistrate Rahul Chabha said curfew has been clamped to maintain law and order. Police patrolling has been intensified and additional personnel deployed.

The building of the Government Primary School in Krishna Nagar area was also damaged, police said.

Clashes took place in nearby Majitha town on Friday over the issue with reports of protestors damaging shops and torching vehicles.

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Shillong, February 19: Pictures of Jesus Christ holding a cigarette in one hand and a beer can in another, in a book for primary classes have triggered a row in Meghalaya and the state government is now contemplating legal action against the New Delhi-based publisher.

The objectionable pictures of Jesus Christ found in the cursive writing exercise copies at a private school in capital Shillong were brought to the notice of the influential church by some guardians. 

"We are shocked and hurt by this act where Jesus Christ has been portrayed in a highly objectionable manner. We condemn the total lack of respect for religions by the publisher," Dominc Jala, the Archbishop of Shillong, said. 

New Delhi-based Skyline Publication produced the copies meant for students of Class 1. 

"Just imagine students at such an impressionable age being dished out objectionable images which are nothing but blasphemous," said T. Jrwa, another church leader. 

The Meghalaya government acted swiftly and confiscated all copies from the school and from book shops. 

"Although private schools are not bound by the prescribed text books of the Meghalaya Board of Secondary Education, still we took immediate action by seizing all the copies and if deemed fit we might even take legal steps," said Meghalaya Education Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh. 

An estimated 72 percent of the 2.32 million people in Meghalaya are Christians.

 

Comments on this Article
Anil Martis, Moodubelle/ Dubai Sun, February-21-2010, 2:33
How somebody can insult other religion and thier sentiments. This is rediculous. It should be condemned strongly .
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