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ICC Note:

Congressional delegation demands removal of government official for promoting communal tension and disharmony by targeting the Christian orphanage and school Emmanuel Christian International.

The Hindu (03/21/06) – A group of Congress MLAs on Monday demanded immediate removal of Social Welfare Minister Madan Dilawar by moving a notice for adjournment motion in the Rajasthan Assembly for a debate on his actions allegedly promoting communal tension and disharmony.

Mr. Dilawar, with a strong background of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, has been accused of hounding the Kota-based Emmanuel Mission International (EMI), whose chairman, Samuel Thomas, has since been arrested. The State Government has also closed down five societies of EMI by cancelling their registration.

The Congress members, led by Harimohan Sharma, alleged that Mr. Dilawar had violated the oath under the Constitution as a member of the State Cabinet by spreading religious hatred against a particular community and provoking the people to resort to violence that would disturb communal harmony and create disturbance across the State.

The Christian community in general and the EMI in particular have been targeted in Rajasthan for over a month for selling a controversial book, “Haqeeqat” (Reality), which the Hindu leaders say denigrates Hindu and Jain deities and Indian culture. In a campaign launched by the Hindu radical organisations, a large number of Christian institutions and places of worship were vandalised.

The notice, moved under Rule 50 of the Assembly’s Procedure, made a special reference to Mr. Dilawar’s speech at the official Republic Day celebrations in Kota this year, which it said had promoted communalism and led to conflict in the society. Later, Mr. Dilawar allegedly tried to influence judicial proceedings in the EMI case by provoking the people.

The Speaker, Sumitra Singh, making a mention of the notice during the zero hour, said she had asked the Government to provide information regarding the matter and the decision on the adjournment motion would be taken after receiving the details.