Hindu leader demands probe into Christian “land encroachment”

Adimali (Matters India): A rightwing Hindu leader in Kerala has demanded a probe into what he said was illegal occupation of land by Christians in the southern Indian state.

Members of Christian community “have seized the land either by encroachment or by non-renewal of lease agreement. Crosses have filled the Western Ghats and their protection is at the mercy of the Church,” alleged Vellappally Natesan, leader of a trust named after Kerala’s 20th century social reformer Narayana Guru.

Natesan, general secretary the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam, called for a second land reform movement to change in the present situation in the High Range area of Kerala to ensure land for Dalits and backward communities.

The leader representing backward communities is now on a Kerala tour to drum up support for a new political alliance he has formed with the Bharatiya Janata Party (Indian people’s party) that heads the federal coalition.

Natesan targeted Christians at a reception accorded to his Samatwa Munnetta Yathra (march for development of all) at Adimali, a major town in Idukki district that covers the High Range with sizeable number of Christian settlers, The Times of India reported.

Earlier, the police registered a case against him for spreading communal hatred.

“I am not scared even if I have to celebrate the conclusion of the state-wide tour in Poojappura central jail,” he said, referring to KPCC president V M Sudheeran’s remarks in this regard.

Poojapura is a suburb of Thiruvananthapuram, capital of Kerala, that houses a federal prison.

Natesn also demanded registering a case against Kerala chief secretary Jiji Thomson for spreading Christian evangelism at a recent function in Kottayam.

He alleged that the Marist-led Left Front alliance in Kerala was with minority communities now. “For them, the Muslim League is not a communal party now. They are also befriending the Church heads,” he alleged.

The Hindu leader said some people were painting him communal for asking the government to provide the aid given to Noushad to three Hindu boys who died in an accident the other day. His words were distorted to paint him anti-Muslim. He said Veera Chakra should be given not only to Noushad but for the other two who died with him.

He also criticized the government for not providing any aid to families of three tribal women who were electrocuted in Chikkanamkudi and families of Hindus killed in various accidents in parts of the state.

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