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Communalism

UP: FIR Against Bajrang Dal, VHP Leaders for Demolishing an Under-Construction Church

Police officials said they put up saffron flags at the site, wrote 'Jai Shri Ram' on the walls, damaged CCTV cameras installed at the site. They also misbehaved with government officials when asked not to take the law into their hands.

New Delhi: The police have lodged a case against some leaders of Hindutva outfits, including Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), for tearing down the wall of an under-construction building near Kanpur, officials told PTI.

They demolished the makeshift tin-shed boundary, a newly constructed wall and damaged furniture and other infrastructure at the site in Uttar Pradesh’s Banar Alipur, Shahzadpur village.

They also put up saffron flags at the site, wrote ‘Jai Shri Ram’ on the walls, damaged CCTV cameras and statues installed at the site, an official told the news agency.

A Bajrang Dal leader told PTI that a church was being built there without obtaining prior permission and the local administration did nothing to stop its construction.

A first information report (FIR) has named 13 persons, including Bajrang Dal’s district convenor Gaurav Shukla, and another 70-80 unidentified people.

They also misbehaved with the government officials, when they were asked not to take the law into their hands, officials told PTI.

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The FIR has been registered under Sections 147 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly in prosecution of the common object) 120B (criminal conspiracy), 186 (voluntarily obstructs any public servant in the discharge of his public functions) 323 (voluntarily causes hurt), 504 (intentional insult leading to breakdown of public peace) 425 (damage to property), 427 (damage to property amounting to more than fifty rupees), 353 (criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code, police told PTI.

No arrests have been made so far.

Bajrang Dal’s ‘Prant Sanyojak’ Ajeet Raj said that a church was being built near a missionary school without the permission from the Kanpur Development Authority (KDA) and the district administration.

“We made a complaint against it. We demanded that the church be demolished or we would launch a large-scale protest,” said Raj.

According to PTI, KDA’s officer on special duty, Avneesh Kumar Singh, also lodged an FIR against one Sanjay Joseph for allegedly making illegal construction for the past several months without seeking prior permissions and getting its map sanctioned by the KDA.

“The structure being built for the past several months was sealed on June 16 after officials found that the construction was being made without obtaining approval for the map,” he told PTI.

He said the site was sealed again on Monday, June 26. He added that the police were asked to ensure no illegal construction is carried out there.