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Tensions flare over Sunday mass in Delhi’s Burari, police called in


A Sunday mass inside a hall at a residential area was interrupted and a protest was staged, allegedly by locals in North Delhi’s Burari area. Delhi Police said residents started protesting outside the hall based on suspicion that the tenant and a pastor were forcing people to convert.

The incident took place around 10 am on December 11 in a hall where the tenant had invited more than 20 people, including the pastor, who is from Kerala.

Both police and the neighbours were called by the building owner, who has been having issues with the tenant over Christmas carols and the use of loudspeakers.

Police said neither the tenant nor the pastor have approached them with a complaint. No case has been registered against the residents, though police have taken action against the person who posted a video of the incident for sharing “offensive/sensitive/trouble-fomenting posts”.

As per the video and the police, protesters stopped the mass and removed chairs while asking people to vacate the premises.

Meanwhile, the building owner made a PCR call alleging the pastor was converting people. A purported video shows a group of people protesting outside the hall chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.

Sagar Singh Kalsi, DCP (North), said the place is not a church but a private room in Burari’s Baba Colony.

“The residents had gathered based on suspicion… We had sent adequate police staff to attend the PCR call and nothing cognizable was found. The protesters were dispersed and the place was vacated. The matter has been resolved. There was no vandalism. The tenant had only called her friends and pastor for a Sunday gathering. There was no disruption or break-in…,” said the DCP.

“There’s no communal issue here. The landlady had issues with the tenant, who had gatherings at the hall. The issues have been going on for some time. On the day of the incident, she made allegations of religious conversion. The tenant is still there. The pastor returned to Kerala and also doesn’t wish to lodge a complaint,” said an officer.

Meanwhile, the letter sent to the Twitter user who shared the video mentions that the post has the “potential to foment trouble amongst the peace-loving and law-abiding citizens”.

The video has now been deleted. The user had posted the video with a caption that the vandalism took place at a church. Police said the date of the incident is incorrect, and the incident took place in a residential area, not a church.





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