» 08/20/2013, 00.00
India, Catholic missionaries attacked. Jesuit: I forgive them, they were fomented by fundamentalists
About 150 people attacked priests and nuns who work with tribal Santal in Jharkhand. The death of a child who lived in the mission’s sparked mob’s wrath. But according to the missionaries, Hindu extremist groups fomented parents, exploiting their pain.
- Attacked, insulted and beaten by about 150 people: This is what happened to a
Jesuit priest and two nuns who work with tribal Santal in a Catholic mission in
Karon (Jharkhand). The
attack occurred two days ago. The
mob's wrath was sparked by the death of a 7 year old boy, who was staying in
the hostel run by the Catholic Church. However,
the Jesuits of the province of Dumka-Raiganj - who run the mission - suspect
the involvement of radical Hindu groups Sawayamsevak Rashtriya Sangh (RSS) and
2 August the child began to experience severe stomach pains. Concerned,
mission staff rushed him to the local hospital, where unfortunately he died. Doctors
said he died from cardiac arrest. Priests
and nuns brough the small child's body back to his native village, which is
located in the district of Chittaranjan (West Bengal). Angry
about what happened, the villagers first held the Catholic sisters captive,
then let them return.
we had asked them a new meeting - Fr. Panimegam Michael, SJ, the director of
the mission tells AsiaNews - and on
Aug. 18 about 150 people gathered, including the child's parents. Shortly after
starting the father approached and slapped
me. From there, others started to break the windows, destroying furniture, and
the mother to beat me. "
women in the group - about 60 - have attacked Sister Sahaya, which is the
principal of the school's mission. "They
pulled her hair - recalls the priest - and ripped her clothes, then they beat
her" and together with her, another sister.
dispersed the people. One of the
priests present at the time of the attack, Fr. Salomon, suffered injuries to
his head. Before
leaving, the group demanded a compensation of 1 million rupees, but the
missionaries did not accept.
incident has shocked the priests and nuns of the mission. However,
they remain convinced that Hindu fundamentalists fomented the community, exploiting
the pain of the parents for the loss of the child. "I
forgive my attackers - says Fr. Panimegam - and with God's grace and His Spirit
we will continue to serve this Santal community through the educational mission
of the Jesuits."
in 2004, the missionary center is called Deepshikha ("Torch") and
also includes a hostel and a school. In
2005 c some nuns of the Congregation of the Immaculate Conception (CIC)
arrived, taking over the management of the institute.
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