NEW DELHI (AP) – Police detained hundreds of protesters Thursday after they tried to march into a high-security New Delhi neighbourhood, accusing the government of failing to investigate a recent spate of church attacks and vandalism incidents.
Police said the protesters were detained as they marched toward the residence of Home Minister Rajnath Singh in a high-security area where protests are banned.
“The protesters have no permission to protest on the road. They can’t just march to the home minister’s residence. We have to protect the homes of VIPs,” a senior police officer, Mukesh Kumar Meena, told New Delhi Television network.
Carrying placards that read “Enough is Enough, What are police doing?” the protesters assembled outside the city’s main Sacred Heart Cathedral in central New Delhi.
Police say they have provided security to all 225 churches in the Indian capital. The protest comes after a mysterious fire gutted a church in New Delhi and several other incidents of vandalism at churches across the city.
The protesters blame the attacks on Hindu hardliners.