At a winter fair on Friday, some Hindu nationalists allegedly assaulted and beat up a bunch of Santa Clauses from India.
Bajrang Dal is a militant organization of Hindu nationalists in India. According to New Indian Express, members of the Bajrang Dal assaulted the Santas while they were handing out free chocolates and Christian books to tourists at a zoo in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
Javalit Mehta, head of the North Gujarat Bajrang Dal, stated: “When we went there to protest against the people who were doing religious conversion activity, there was a clash with some of them.”
According to the Times of India, a video of two guys getting assaulted while dressed as St. Nick went viral on social media. The newspaper highlighted that the incident was not reported to the authorities.
The New Indian Express said that the Santas were reportedly instructed to “go back” to their churches.
A spokesman for the right-wing nationalist group Vishva Hindu Parishad stated: “For the past four days of the Kankaria Carnival, missionaries have been promoting Christianity by selling books dressed as Santa Claus near the entry of the zoo and promoting conversion activities by explaining about Jesus and Christianity.”
“On being informed about the matter, 20 activists led by North Gujarat president of Bajrang Dal Javalit Mehta stopped the conversion activity in the government program at around 9 pm on Friday.”
The local government funded the seven-day carnival in Ahmedabad, which designated Christmas Day as “Good Governance Day.” This was in honour of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birthday.