Wednesday, Mar 12, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
In a statement today, the council's secretary-general, John Dayal, said ``the survey first tried in 1999 and thwarted by the High Court which we had then moved is a precursor to the so-called Anti-Conversion Bills that the BJP had promised in recent elections. Such a survey was illegal because other than the national census, held under Central laws, no one else has the right to ask intimate questions on faith''. Such surveys ``equip and arm goons of the RSS and other communal elements with ready-made hit lists of the nature made by Nazi cadres of Hitler in Germany''.
Manas Dasgupta reports from Ahmdedabad:
The All-India Christian Council has filed a special civil application in the Gujarat High Court alleging violation of the court's earlier orders by the State Home department in undertaking a community-based survey of Christians.
In its application, the Council pointed out that despite the court order in 1998 and again last year restraining the Government from conducting any such survey, the police was knocking at the doors of Christians and Christian organisations asking them about conversions and source of their funds.
The State Home Minister, Amit Shah, denied that the Government had undertaken any such survey but admitted that certain Christian organisations were questioned to collect details to be tabled in the Lok Sabha on voluntary organisations receiving funds from abroad.
A Home Ministry official said if the Government had launched any survey on minorities, as was alleged in view of the proposed bill on religious conversion expected to be moved in the State Assembly during the current budget session, Muslim organisations would also be brought under the survey.
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