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Bajrang Dal men vandalise church

Nearly two dozen activists of the Hindu right-wing organisation Bajrang Dal allegedly attacked and vandalised a church in a Mahrashtra town on Sunday morning, police said.

india Updated: Apr 20, 2009 01:04 IST
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Hindustan Times

Around 50 Bajrang Dal activists vandalised a church in Saoner town, 40 km from Nagpur, on Sunday.

The activists, all armed with sticks, stormed the Douglas Memorial Church in Saoner at 11.30 am while the Sunday mass was on, according to the police. As churchgoers – nearly 125 people were attending the service — ran away, the mob went on a rampage and destroyed furniture.

“The crowd also damaged a school bus belonging to St John School, run by the church,” said D.G. Gavai, police inspector in charge of Saoner police station.

Though there were reports that the activists misbehaved with women, the police said no one was manhandled.

Earlier in the day, a group of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists had filed a police complaint that the church management was involved in “illegal” conversion and insisted the police take action. The church was attacked soon after.

The priest of the church, Father R. Ramred Paul (55), recognised some attackers and lodged a complaint, naming three – Sonu Bdaiyya, Munna Dube and Trambak Kanere.

“We have arrested three persons, said C. Wakde,” superintendent of police, Nagpur rural said.

First Published: Apr 19, 2009 18:17 IST