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Attack on Christian assembly, 8 injured

AT LEAST eight Christians including three priests were injured when suspected Bajrang Dal activists attacked a prayer house in Govindpura area on Saturday. The attackers were armed with hockey sticks and lathis and vandalised the prayer hall apart from beating all and sundry.

india Updated: Jan 29, 2006 01:32 IST

AT LEAST eight Christians including three priests were injured when suspected Bajrang Dal activists attacked a prayer house in Govindpura area on Saturday. The attackers were armed with hockey sticks and lathis and vandalised the prayer hall apart from beating all and sundry.

Christian community spokesperson claimed 17 people were injured in the attack and were undergoing treatment at various hospitals. Priest Fr SV Francis and two others received serious injuries.

Although police officials suspect involvement of Bajrang Dal activists , they were not willing to come on record. Police said the incident occurred at LIG 210, Bharti Niketan Colony in Govindpura area where around two-dozen people had gathered for prayer in the morning.

The attackers who arrived on three motorcycles and a jeep, barged into the first floor hall and attacked everyone in the assembly including women when the prayer was on. They vandalised the hall and broke the windowpanes. Vehicles of the devotees were also smashed. The intruders raised slogans and pelted stones at the house before leaving the locality.

The police were later informed and the injured taken to hospital. The house belongs to Freddi Prasad, who lives near PGBT College. SV Francis who is a priest with Douglas School, also runs Bible classes and a group of 15-odd youths had come from Janjgir in Chhattisgarh for a nine-month course.

Though prayers were held near PGBT College, some local residents of Narayan Nagar and surrounding areas found it far so it was decided to assemble at the house.

Superintendent of Police Anant Kumar Singh said the hunt was on for the accused. Meanwhile, the MP State Minorities’ Commission member Indira Iyengar demanded the immediate arrest of those responsible for the act. Iyengar suspected the role of Bajrang Dal in the attack.

Those injured included the priest SV Francis, 48, Kishor Sadhwani, 41, a priest from Nagpur, I Pareira, 35, John Dhurve, VN Kurre, Anand, 28, Sandeep Minj, 22, David S, Abdul Majeed and others.

Govindpura CSP SL Yadav said efforts were on to nab the assailants. The police have registered a case under Sections 147, 148, 427, 323, 452 of the IPC against the unidentified miscreants for rioting, house trespass, assault, mischief causing damage and voluntarily causing hurt.

Leader of Opposition in Assembly Jamuna Devi visited the locality and the hospital to see the condition of the injured. She demanded arrest of the attackers and alleged that Bajrang Dal activists deliberately attacked the prayers of Christians.


Topno, others condemn assault
THE ALLEGED Bajrang Dal attack on a gathering of Christian community at Govindpura here today invited widespread condemnation.

Condemning the attack as inhuman, Archbishop Pascal Topno said that breaking into somebody’s house and attack on people who gathered for prayers amounted to barbarism. “They were not doing anything wrong. They had assembled for prayer.

In any case taking law into your hands can have no justification,” he said. In a joint press statement, founder of National Secular Manch L S Hardenia and president Insani Biradari Ramchandra Bhargava condemned the incident and demanded immediate arrest of culprits. State Congress spokesperson Manak Agrawal also condemned the incident.

First Published: Jan 29, 2006 01:32 IST