Proposed church site ‘vandalized’ in Dwarka, religious group returns to Punjab

A day after the site of a proposed church was allegedly vandalized By members of Bajrang Dal in Dwarka in Delhi, members of the religious group called Ankur Narula Ministries left the scene on Monday and returned to the Punjab, where they had come from.

Delhi police arrested one of the men who allegedly vandalized a sign outside a warehouse that read “church”. He was convicted under the IPC Sections of Public Nuisance and remains in custody.

Outside the warehouse where the church was inaugurated on November 23, a member, Vivaan George, said on Monday, “We were only trying to open a church here, but Bajrang Dal members came and went. threatened people. We cannot fight with these people. People have come today to show their solidarity, but many accuse us of attempting a religious conversion by force. We are now going to our headquarters in Punjab, but we will return next week with Pastor Ankur Narula and speak to the local authorities.

An alleged video from Sunday’s incident shows men holding up slogans and damaging the warehouse sign.

Police have filed lawsuits against both sides, including under the DDMA law, which bans large gatherings. About 15 to 20 people associated with the church have been convicted of violating social distancing. Police also denied allegations of inaction and said they arrested someone in connection with the incident.

Meanwhile, Bajrang Dal alleged that church members were forcing locals to join them.

Vinod Bansal, a spokesperson for Bajrang Dal, said: “We heard from the locals that there were a few people who opened a church in a godown and forced young boys to join. They were trying to forcibly convert people. We sent a team who protested outside the proposed church on Sunday and launched slogans. The members only damaged the board; they didn’t beat anyone. We would never touch a religious place, but these people opened a fake church in a residential area.

DCP (Dwarka) Shankar Choudhary said no one was injured in the incident.