Catholic School Body In Madhya Pradesh Moves High Court, Seeks Protection

Following protests by right wing groups, the Madhya Pradesh Catholic Diocesan Schools' Association appealed to the High Court for protection to its affiliated institutions.

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Catholic School Body In Madhya Pradesh Moves High Court, Seeks Protection

Updesh Rana and other activists of Vishwa Sanatan Sangh were arrested on Tuesday


Vidisha:  The Madhya Pradesh Catholic Diocesan School's Association has moved the High Court seeking protection for their educational institutions alleging that some right wing groups are trying to whip up communal tension. The plea mentions the name of a Vishwa Sanatan Sangh leader, Updesh Rana, who had called for an aarti of Bharat Mata ('Mother India') inside Saint Mary's College in Vidisha. 

Updesh Rana and other activists of Vishwa Sanatan Sangh were arrested on Tuesday when they were heading for the college to perform the 'aarti." 

"We arrested Rana when he was entering the town. It was a preventive arrest. Besides, we have arrested 29 activists of the outfit in Bhopal and Vidisha on their way to the college," Superintendent of Police Vineet Kapoor told Press Trust of India.

On January 4, the Vidisha district administration foiled an attempt by the ABVP, a student's body linked to the BJP, to enter St Mary's PG College to recite the "aarti". After a few days in Ratlam, right wing groups claimed that upto 20 students had been barred from entering a school for chanting "Bharat Mata Ki Jai". 

Superintendent of Police Amit Singh said "The school in their written statement has said the students were not barred from giving exams. Students of class 9th chanted Bharat Mata ki Jai during assembly but the students are saying they are being barred from exams, stopped from chanting Bharat Mata Ki Jai, will investigative."

Following protests by right wing groups, the Madhya Pradesh Catholic Diocesan Schools' Association appealed to the High Court for protection to its affiliated institutions. 

The Congress says the schools' association has the right to approach to the court, but the BJP says it feels it's all political. 

Pankaj Chaturvedi, spokesperson for the Congress, said, "It shows the narrow mindset of BJP that they want to politicize this matter. Everyone has their fundamental rights, if someone is trying to do some mischief in the name of 'Bharat Mata ki jai' then people can approach the court." 

Dr Hitesh Bajpai of the BJP said, "I don't think law is violated and if law is violated whosoever the person is law takes its own course. These are all religious-political movement, they always rise whenever there is election. We are six months away from elections."

Apart from the "aarti", the decision to move the court was also prompted by an alleged attack on priests and seminarians in Satna in December. A group of Catholic carol singers were detained by police in Satna after right wing group alleged religious conversions. 


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