Centre wakes up to church attacks, warns states

Centre has decided to invoke the Constitution to issue warnings to the Karnataka and Orissa governments after a series of attacks on churches and Christians.

This comes amid reports that members of the Sangh parivar like the VHP and Bajrang Dal are carrying out these attacks with the tacit approval of the state governments.

The Home Ministry will be issuing a warning to these states to put a stop to these attacks or face the consequences.

Sources say the warnings will be issued either under Article 355 or Article 365 of the Constitution– a last warning before the imposition of President’s Rule.

Article 355, which is an emergency provision, says it’s the duty of the Union government to protect states against external aggression and internal disturbances.

Article 365 says that the President can hold that the state is not acting in accordance with the Constitution. This is basically a ground to act against the state.

The latest in the row of the attacks on churches is Madhya Pradesh, again a Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled state. Two men broke into a church in Jabalpur late on Thursday night. There were no casualties as the church was closed. Immediately after the incident, there were protests by Christians but the situation is now under control.

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