Steps taken to make churches safe in Delhi: Centre to HC

Steps taken to make churches safe in Delhi: Centre to HC

Steps taken to make churches safe in Delhi: Centre to HC

Steps to secure the safety of churches and minority-run institutions in the national capital have been taken, the Centre told the Delhi High Court today.

A bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini was told through a common status report filed by Ministry of Home Affairs and Delhi Police that every church and minority-run schools and educational institutes have been provided round the clock security through "dedicated deployment".

"All the concerned officers specially DCPs and SHOs concerned have been directed to take care of security of these installations/places.

"It is being ensured that PCR vans, Emergency Response Vehicle and motorcycle patrol around churches/missionary schools for enhanced security. At all vulnerable locations, static deployment is made during night hours," the ministry said in its report.

The ministry and the Delhi police filed the status report in pursuance to the court's April 29 order on a PIL seeking protection of religious rights of Christians.

The PIL filed by advocate Reegan S Bell, had also sought a status report from the Centre, Delhi government and police on action taken by them regarding the attacks and efforts made by them to secure these places against such incidents in future.

Central government's Standing Counsel Anil Soni, appearing for the MHA, informed in an affidavit that "steps have been taken for the security and safety of the churches and minority run institutions through wide publicity including media with an aim to reach the masses".

On April 24, a single judge bench of the high court had turned down the request for a probe by a Special Investigating Team (SIT), saying it cannot be ordered by the bench and referred the matter to the division bench headed by the Chief Justice, which adjudicates on public interest litigation.

The court had also observed that "whether it's a church, temple, gurdwara, mosque, we have to make sure all religious places are equally saved."
The plea had said that since December last year, five churches in Delhi have been vandalised but till date no arrests have been made except in one case, while no case have been solved yet.

The government has failed to prevent such attacks, it had alleged.

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