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ICC Note:

Communist-Party legislators on fact-finding mission conclude that Hindu attacks on the school affiliated with Hopegivers International were unprovoked.

The Hindu (03/13/06) – A delegation of Members of Parliament belonging to the Communist Party of India (Marxist), which toured Kota in Rajasthan on Saturday on a fact-finding mission in the wake of attacks on Christian institutions in the area by the radical Hindu organisations, has termed the attacks “unprovoked”.

“The Sangh Parivar elements are using the controversial book as a convenient tool to carry out a systematic campaign against the minority groups,” said Suresh Kurup. “We will raise the issue in Parliament and also brief our party and the Central Government on the situation here,” he said.

The delegation, led by Mr.Kurup, MP from Kottayam in Kerala, toured the affected areas and met the functionaries of the Emmanuel Mission International school, orphanage and the Mission ‘s headquarter.

The delegation also went to the St.Paul’s School, a Catholic institution, which also was the target of attacks from the Hindu Jagran Manch, Shiv Sena and Bajrang Dal activists along with the EMI establishments in the wake of the uproar over the book, “Haqeeqat”(Reality).

The delegation- comprising five CPI (M) MPs, Suresh Kurup, Sebastian Paul, Lonappan Nambadan, K.S.Manoj, and A.V.Bellarmine- was accompanied by R.K.Swami, district secretary, CPI (M), Kota, as it went round and met the affected persons, the District Collector, the Superintendent of Police and a cross section of people.

“We were in Kota on the instructions of the Central Committee of the CPI (M),” Mr.Kurup said talking on phone from Kota . “We are not in any way justifying the book but it all seems to be a planned operation. There has been a systematic attack on the institutions managed by the Emmanuel Mission.

The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Sangh Parivar outfits are threatening to get them closed for good in Rajasthan,” he said.

Derogatory observations

The BJP MPs from Rajasthan, led by Srichand Kripalani, MP from Chittorgarh, who raised the issue in Parliament on Thursday had demanded a ban on “Haqeeqat” which they said carried derogatory observations on Hindu gods and Indian culture.

Rajasthan Government had sent a team of policemen to Kerala recently to arrest M.G.Mathew, the author of the book, written in reply to “A Bunch of Thoughts” authored by RSS thinker M.S.Golwalkar.

“It is a clear- cut campaign against the minorities here. The book was only an excuse. Otherwise why should they have attacked St.Paul’s School, which is not an EMI institution,” Mr.Paul noted. “We appreciate the assurance given by the Collector and SP to protect the minorities when we met them. They also told us that the situation was returning to normal,” Mr. Paul said referring to the meeting with the district authorities.