04/22/2015, 00.00
INDIA
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Jharkhand, Hindu radicals demand immediate closure of Catholic school

by Nirmala Carvalho
Over 60 students from the militant wing of the ruling party (the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party,) raid Holy Cross Institute in Hazaribagh. After failing to intervene, police arrest 16 people. Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC): "The extremists attacked Christian institutions because they can not tolerate the help they give to the poor and oppressed."

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Police have arrested 16 Hindu radicals in connection to yesterday’s attack on the Catholic Holy Cross School in Hazaribagh in the Northeast State of Jharkhand.

Over 60 militants from the Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad dell'Akhil (ABVP), student wing of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (Hindu nationalists BJP,), raided the school premises and ordered the school authorities to close the institute.

Speaking to AsiaNews Sajan K. George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), said: "The extremists attack Christian institutions because they cannot tolerate the fact these institutions help the poor and oppressed."

According to eyewitnesses, the police witnessed the attack without intervening. Abvp militants kicked down desks and doors, and asked one of the nuns who run the school because there was no statue of Saraswati (Hindu goddess of knowledge, ed) and a picture of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi instead of that of St. Francis.

"For centuries - Sajan George told AsiaNews - the Christian Educational Institutions have served nation building and are the most sought after for their quality education as well as character building and inculcating of values system for the holistic development.  These fringe groups target the Christian Institutions also because they serve the poor and marginalised and empower them with education, thus giving them dignity and development and progress."

This service "is against the oppressive caste system, because once the poor are educated and know their rights, it is difficult to subdue them. In Chhattisgarh, in Bastar, priests and nuns who teach in schools have been ordered to call themselves acharya [the tutor in the Hindu tradition, ed], and install images of Hindu gods. "

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