Seeking international intervention in the internal affairs of the country, Saket Gokhale, spokesperson of All India Trinamool Congress has written a letter to Leopoldo Girelli, Apostolic Nuncio to India, Embassy of the Holy See of the Vatican with regard to the church survey letter which was reportedly issued by an SP-ranked officer of the Assam police.
The TMC in its letter wrote, “Through this representation, we wish to apprise you of this extremely serious issue in the state of Assam with an appeal to notify His Holiness Pontifex Maximus as well as The Holy See regarding this state-sponsored persecution of Christians and to take up this issue in the relevant diplomatic forums with the Government of India as you may deem fit.”
In the letter, Gokhale went a step further and blamed the Assam government for supposedly using the police and other government resources such as the intelligence department to target the Christian clergy along with the people who have chosen to follow Jesus Christ and have converted to Christianity. He wrote, “with the circular, the BJP government in Assam has now institutionalized the persecution and targeting of Christians and churches in the state and is using the state machinery and intelligence agencies to deny Christians the right to practice their faith and to target those that wish to embrace Christianity.”
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma however made no comments on the survey letter, which required all superintendents of police in the state to produce a report on the religious conversions and the number of churches established in their respective districts in the past year one year. The Chief Minister said that the government has not issued any circular for an exercise that may hurt the religious sentiments of a particular group or community.