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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