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ICC Note: 

Hundreds of Christians in Mumbai staged protests against a local civic body after they demolished a cross. The civic body claims to be operating under the order of the local municipal corporation which ordered all unregistered religious structures be removed before November 2017. According to local Christians, the cross that was targeted and demolished was on private land and did not encroach upon public property. Attacks on Christians and their places of worship in India have significantly increased in recent years. Many observes claim that the impunity Hindu extremists enjoy under the current BJP-led government is the major factor in explaining this rise in persecution.

05/03/2017 India (India Today) – Members of the Christian community today staged a protest against the local civic body for demolishing a holy cross in suburban Bandra last week.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) razed the holy cross at Bazar Road on Saturday after the Bombay High Court directed the civic body to remove all unauthorized religious structures before November 2017.

However, Christian groups have claimed the cross was built on private land and in no way encroached on any public property.

Hundreds of Christians protested outside the H-West ward office of the BMC and shouted slogans against Assistant Municipal Commissioner Sharad Ugade under whose jurisdiction the holy cross was located. They demanded his transfer from the ward.

Talking to PTI, Nicholas Almeida, an activist who was part of the protest, said the BMCs action has “hurt our religious sentiments”.

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