SILCHAR: Four teenagers were briefly detained on Tuesday in connection with the disruption of Christmas celebrations over the weekend at Silchar’s Presbyterian Church complex demanding that Hindus should not participate in it, an officer of Assam Police said.
Two persons, also minors, were detained and released on Sunday on submission of a bond promising to turn up at the police station if required.
The six were part of a group that barged into the complex at about 10pm on Saturday, chanted ‘Jai Shri Ram’, slapped a few persons and demanded that Hindus leave the church saying christmas is a “festival of outsiders”. “We have been celebrating Tulsi Diwas since morning and I think these Hindu boys and girls should have been doing the same instead of attending Christmas here,” one of them said, addressing a local TV news crew.
The teenagers claimed they were activists of rightwing group Bajrang Dal but the outfit has denied any association with them.
Superintendent of police, Cachar district, Ramandeep Kaur, said: “Nobody has lodged a written complaint but we have identified these boys from the video footage available on social media. All of them are juvenile aged between 15 to 17. We have interrogated and allowed them to go home on a PR bond. But they have to come to police station if we call them.”
Kaur said the police spoke to Bajrang Dal’s Cachar wing but it has distanced itself from these boys.
“We interacted with official members of Bajrang Dal about it, and they categorically denied about any connection between the organisation and these boys. The detained boys also failed to show any proof about their Bajrang Dal membership,” she said.
Mithun Nath, president of Bajrang Dal’s wing in Cachar, Dima Hasao and Mizoram wing said: “Last year, we appealed to Hindus not to celebrate Christmas because a group of Christians attacked a temple in Shillong. This year we asked our members not to disturb any celebration.”
“We don’t know if these boys are our members or not, but I don’t support these police proceedings against them also,” Mithun Nath added.
Among those who was manhandled
Senior journalist from Silchar, Anirbanjyoti Gupta, whose son was among those manhandled by the group, recalled his family’s claimed that his son was manhandled by Bajrang Dal youths on December 25.