Christian Council, Muslim groups and social activists urge Union Home Minister P Chidambaram to take action against Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader

Condemning international general secretary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Dr Pravin Togadia's recent statement calling for the beheading of those who convert Hindus, Muslim groups and the Christian Council along with other activists like Tushar Gandhi and film director Mahesh Bhatt have asked Union Home Minister P Chidambaram to take strict action against the Hindu leader.

Action and reaction: VHP leader Dr Pravin Togadia

Speaking at a three-day Akhil Bharatiya Dharmaprasar Karykarta Sammelan in Ahmedabad on Tuesday, Togadia in a speech said that those who convert Hindus should be beheaded. Leaders from the minority communities say that such a statement was made only to provoke the sentiments of Hindus and instigate communal riots.
"The beast of intolerance is back on our horizon. He is lusting for the blood of the innocent. It's time for those who believe in the idea of a secular India to lock horns with this beast," said Bhatt.

Mahesh Bhatt. File pics

Abraham Mathai, vice-chairman of the minorities commission, said, "It is rather absurd to suggest that those who convert Hindus should be beheaded, yet it is an obvious fact that a few conversions happen because of true conviction of the heart caused by thousands of years of repression that the Dalits and the tribals have undergone under Brahminical dominance."

The religious leaders said that since BJP is in charge of the affairs of the state in Gujarat, it is imperative that the Centre intervenes and books the VHP leader under appropriate sections of the Indian Penal Code.

Maqbool Alam, founder of Bombay Aman Committee, said, "This clearly shows how VHP and BJP are promoting communalism. Unfortunately, to appease Hindus, the Congress government will not do anything. We'll have to approach the court and request it to impose a law to stop national disintegration."