Teen held for allegedly setting ablaze priests' car in Madhya Pradesh

Eight priests who later went to the police station to inquire about the detained carolers were also held by the police. Photograph:( ANI )

WION Web Team Satna, Madhya Pradesh, India Dec 17, 2017, 07.33 AM (IST)

Police on Saturday arrested an 18-year-old for allegedly setting ablaze a care a belonging to a group of priests. The priests were accused of forcing religious conversions by rightwing group Bajrang Dal. 

The incident took place on Thursday when two priests and around 30 members of a Catholic choir group were detained over allegations that they were converting Hindus to Christianity. The carolers were picked up by the police from the roadside as they were moving around Satna, around 450 km from state capital Bhopal, singing carols for Christmas.

Eight priests who later went to the police station to inquire about the detained carolers were also held by the police. It was the car they used that was burnt by activists who also allegedly assaulted the Christian group outside the police station.

Those detained were released after questioning. 

A case has been filed against a priest, George M, and five others on the complaint of a local, Dharmendra Dohar, who alleged that he was illegally converted on December 10 and was paid Rs. 5,000 for it.

"He was given a holy dip in a pond and his name was changed to Dharmendra Thomas, the complainant said. They also asked him to pray to Lord Christ," Superintendent of Police DD Pandey told IANS on Friday.

The carolers are from the St Ephrem's Theological College in Satna.