Hundreds of right-wing Hindu students fought with police in Madhya Pradesh, Central India on January 4, after they tried to storm a Catholic-run college to conduct Hindu religious rites. Madhya Pradesh is run by the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party and has witnessed many such incidents by now that targets Christians in the state. The Police were forced to charge about 800 students from the group Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarti Parishad (ABVP) when they tried to gain access to St. Mary’s College in Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh to conduct the Aarati.

As reported by, Fr. Shaiju Devassy, college director, remarked that “They did seek prior permission but it was refused. The attempt to storm the college was not about prayer or patriotism but was a symbolic attempt to impose Hindu dominance over minorities. It challenged the constitutional right of religious and ethnic minorities to own and manage institutions to help their communities.”

Critics accuse the ABVP, the student wing of the BJP, of supporting the idea of making India a Hindu nation.