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  • » 06/04/2015, 00.00

    INDIA

    West Bengal: more anti-Christian violence as vandals attack a missionary school

    Nirmala Carvalho

    Unidentified assailants attacked the Believers Church School in Madhyamgram destroying furnishings and furniture, contaminating the water filtration system, and looting food supplies. They caused panic and terror among those present in the facility. For Christian activist, this is "second serious” incident of violence against a peaceful minority.

    New Delhi (AsiaNews) – "This is the second serious attack against Christians in West Bengal;” therefore "I express my strongest condemnation," said  Christian activist Sajan K. George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) as he spoke to AsiaNews about the thugs who vandalised the Believers Church School in Madhyamgram, North 24 Parganas District, in north-eastern India.

    The attack against the mission school took place yesterday, 3 June, when a group of unidentified assailants attacked the facility, destroying furnishings and furniture, and pouring disinfectant into the water filtration system.

    The vandals also took food supplies and other material stored in the school’s warehouse, throwing them around in various parts of the school. Adding insult to injury, they wrote offensive graffiti on school walls.

    The attack caused "panic" and "terror" among those present in the school (pictured), witnesses said. The people in charge of the Christian school filed a formal complaint with police in Madhyamgram.

    Investigators have opened a file and are looking for the perpetrators of the attack. However, nothing has come to light about the attackers’ identity so far. 

    In India, "Christians are a tiny and peaceful community,” GCIC president Sajan K. George told AsiaNews. “They serve the nation through their educational institutions without discrimination." For this reason, “the attack against a school by anonymous assailants is even worse.”

    "It is necessary to keep the peace and ensure the security of each citizen,” said Fr Savarimuthu Sankar, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Delhi.

    India, he noted, has seen a spate of incidents characterised by acts of discrimination, abuse and violence against minorities and their places of worship. In view of this, the government should protect everyone.

    The 2015 Report on Religious Freedom released on 1 May by the US Commission for International Religious Freedom noted a marked rise in the number of violent incidents and episodes of religious intolerance in India.

    According to the report, since last year’s election and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s victory, “religious minority communities have been subject to derogatory comments by politicians linked to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),” who are not penalised for their behaviour.

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    See also

    15/12/2011 INDIA
    Toxic liquor, at least 107 people dead in West Bengal
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    03/01/2012 INDIA
    Church in West Bengal promoting renewable energy and solar panels
    The Seva Kendra Calcutta, a social service centre of the Archdiocese of Calcutta, promotes low-cost technologies that respect the environment and human health. In rural villages, families have no access to electrical power and have to rely on kerosene, a fuel that is both expensive and highly toxic.

    01/06/2011 INDIA
    A tsunami called "Mamata." High hopes for the new government of West Bengal.
    After the historic defeat of the Communist Party in the last elections, expectations and hopes of the poor and marginalized are high, but for Jesuit Father Jothi SJ, the new government must move beyond the big talk and focus on "education, health and entitlements on a priority basis" for his people.

    17/06/2009 INDIA
    West Bengal: emergency remains for victims of Cyclone Aila
    Over 100 thousand homeless. Almost 7 thousand the number of people directly affected. Fr. Jothi, a Jesuit priest involved in aid relief: A part from immediate aid we need to intervene straight away to restore farmland.

    12/11/2007 INDIA
    West Bengal, general strike in the wake of massacre ordered by communists
    Members of the Communist Party yesterday attacked the storage centres of local small farmers, to convince them through violence to give in to their lands being requisitioned. The opposition declares the shit down of the entire State.



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