Indian's top bishop says some people want division along religious lines

(Photo: REUTERS / Amit Dave)Volunteers of the Hindu nationalist organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) take part in a drill on the last day of their three-day workers' meeting in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad January 4, 2015.

The head of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India has described the situation for Christians as turning for the "worst" days after two more churches have been attacked by suspected Hindu fundamentalists.

CBCI President Cardinal Baselios Cleemis said that going by a pattern of attacks against minority groups, some quarters in the country want to get rid of people having a religion other than Hinduism, reported.

"Some people are bent on dividing the country on religious lines and making it a theocracy," said Cleemis. "But the majority who believe in the secular credentials of this nation will not allow it to happen."

Cleemis was reacting to two separate incidents which occurred last week in which two churches were attacked by vandals.

On March 20, there was a break into the cathedral complex of the Jabalpur diocese in Madhya Pradesh state.

Security camera footage showed the suspects breaking down doors and windows, as well as smashing plant pots.

The following day, at least three masked men on motorcycles threw stones at the St. George Catholic Church in New Panvel. The attackers broke a glass case protecting the image of St. George inside the church, officials from the Kalyan diocese said.

Jabalpur state police arrested six people in connection with the March 23 attack in the cathedral. But they were granted bail since they had been charged with "minor" offences.

"We arrested six men last night in connection with the vandalism. We are trying to identify more people... there may be more arrests," HC Mishra, a senior state police official, said told Agence France-Presse.

The right-wing Hindu Dharma Sena group had been accusing the church of converting around 200 tribespeople to Christianity, but it denied ordering its members to retaliate by damaging church property.

Conversion has been a hot-button issue in India, where the influence of right-wing groups have grown since the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won power last year.

In February, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged to put an end to religious violence, promising to uphold the constitutional right of religious freedom following the attacks.

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