An Indian bishop has accused police of ‘tokenism’ after they swiftly released on bail six suspects allegedly caught on camera vandalising a cathedral in central India on March 20.
“Such kind of tokenism from police [will] not help bring in confidence among beleaguered Christians,” said Bishop Gerald Almeida.
The men were released after only an hour following the incident in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. The cathedral had been accused by a nationalist group, Hindu Dharma Sena, of converting 200 people to Christianity, although the group denied it was responsible for the vandalism.
Meanwhile, four men have been arrested on suspicion of attacking a church in New Panvel, near Mumbai, on March 21.
These incidents follow the release of a report highlighting a dramatic increase in anti-Christian violence and harassment in the 300 days since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP came to power.