18 March 2018
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas

  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  •    - Afghanistan
  •    - Bangladesh
  •    - Bhutan
  •    - India
  •    - Nepal
  •    - Pakistan
  •    - Sri Lanka
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • » 01/16/2006, 00.00


    Church and orphanage torn down to make way for road construction

    Nirmala Carvalho

    The Christ Mission Ashram has been torn down to allow road construction to the airport. "We have not been offered any alternative site for relocation. Where do we go from here?" church leader asks.

    Kolkata (AsiaNews) – The Christ Mission Ashram, a church in south Calcutta, was torn down yesterday to make way for a new road. In addition to the Protestant church, the complex included an orphanage that was home to 30 children and 20 women.

    The action followed a court order authorising the demolition to complete a project undertaken a decade ago that when completed will cut by half the time it takes to go from the city's airport to its southern outskirts.

    Hundreds of members of the Protestant congregation tried to stop the demolition clashing with employees from the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA). Ten people, including some children, were hurt.

    KMDA employees entered the mission at around 6 am through a rear gate and started tearing down the buildings. Woken by the noise, locals poured out of their homes and within minutes constituted a 100-strong group ready to take on the demolition brigade. The protest stopped the work for some minutes until police was able push away demonstrators. By 10 am the orphanage was no more.

    Bishop Sukrit Roy, who was in charge of the Ashram, tried to prevent the demolition but to no avail—he was removed so that the workers could continue their work.

    "We have not been offered any alternative site for relocation. Where do we go from here?" Rev Roy said.

    The KMDA said that it has a rehabilitation plan for those who lose their homes but it disputes the Ashram's claim to ownership.

    The Trinamool Youth Federation, which has an office nearby, tried to intervene, but could not save the church. When they started to protest, a large police contingent was immediately deployed to keep them away.

    Pankaj Banerjee, who heads the Trinamool Congress, announced that that he would take up the matter with Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi.

    Church authorities had already raised the issue with the Governor, the state's chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and the Minority Commission.

    "The Minority Commission had written back to us saying they would look into the matter," said Herod Mullick, general secretary of the Bangiya Krishtiya Parisheba, the umbrella organisation of Christians in the state. "Now they have done this."

    "It's not that the demolition has come all of a sudden for Church authorities," explained Debdas Bhattacharya, chief engineer for KMDA's Traffic and Transport Department. "We had been in talks with them for some time."

    "Last year, they [the Christians] filed several appeals seeking time. Then, Christmas came in the way. After the high court order, we didn't want to drag the issue any longer. The stretch, after all, has to be completed," he insisted.

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version

    See also

    08/01/2013 INDIA
    India's children lost in the black hole of prostitution and human trafficking
    With at least 11,228 children reported missing in 2011, West Bengal is the state with the worst record in the country. Because of widespread poverty, rural families often sell their children hoping they would have a better future. However, children usually disappear for good. An underage prostitute can earn up to 80,000 rupees (US$ 1,500) a month.

    18/04/2011 INDIA
    Left Front’s hold on West Bengal at risk in state elections
    The ruling leftwing administration is criticised for land expropriations and unemployment. State elections will be held in six phases with results announced on 13 May. Scheduled Caste and tribal voters will be crucial for the outcome. Both groups have reserved seats.

    14/03/2015 INDIA
    West Bengal: after elderly nun raped, faithful march to demand justice
    A group of about eight individuals broke into Jesus and Mary Convent in Ranagath, which includes a highly regarded school. In the course of the robbery, the thieves raped the superior and beat up three other nuns. All the victims are currently in hospital. Reacting to the incident, local residents took to the streets and set up roadblocks. The authorities also condemned the "heinous crime".

    18/08/2017 16:23:00 INDIA
    Kolkata, Muslim students promote respect for human dignity

    The Students Islamic Organisation of India is behind the initiative. Over two weeks, young people will promote respect for life throughout the country. This comes after a series of violent actions against Dalit and Muslims. Symposia, seminars and public lectures are on the agenda. The campaign is meant to glorify “the very tenets of humankind”.

    02/02/2007 INDIA
    More than 14,000 farmers expelled from their land to give way to a car plant
    The Communist-led government of West Bengal is using an 1894 colonial-era law to seize farmland. Many farmers have protested and demonstrations have turned into clashes with police. Tata Motors wants to manufacture the world's cheapest car.

    Editor's choices

    Syrian Trappist nuns say Western powers and factional media fuel war propaganda

    In a written appeal, the religious systematically take apart the version of the conflict touted by governments, NGOs and international news organizations. In Ghouta east, jihadists attack the capital and use civilians as human shields. The Syrian government and people have a duty to defend themselves from external attacks. The conflict alone has undermined the coexistence between Christians and Muslims in the country.

    Xinjiang, crosses, domes, statues destroyed: the new 'Sinicized' Cultural Revolution

    Bernardo Cervellera

    Crosses removed from the domes and the tympanum of Yining Church as well as external decorations and crosses, and the Way of the Cross within the church. The same happened at the churches of Manas and Hutubi. The Cross represents "a foreign religious infiltration ". Prayer services forbidden even in private houses under the threat of arrests and re-education. Children and young people forbidden to enter churches. Religious revival frightens the Party.


    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.


    News feed

    Canale RSSRSS channel 


    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®