12/18/2008, 00.00
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Orissa: catechist attacked by Hindu fundamentalists found dead

by Nirmala Carvalho
Yuvraj Digal, 40, was brutally beaten by a mob of about 20 people, after which he vanished raising fears that he might have been abducted. Today his death was confirmed when his body was found.
Bhubaneshwar (AsiaNews) – The catechist who vanished after being attacked by a mob of Hindu fundamentalists last Tuesday has been killed. Yuvraj Digal, 40, from the village of Kanjamedi in Kandhamal district (Orissa), was a well respected catechist and a leader in his local Christian community.

Sources told AsiaNews that his lifeless body was found today and that his death is attributable to the severe beating he received during the attack.

Mr Digal and his 20-year-old son were making their way home on a motorbike from the village of Tikabali, some 50 kilometres away, when they were intercepted around 6.30 pm on Tuesday.

According to his son Bidyadhar, about 20 men who met them on the road recognised his father.

“They stopped him, insulted him and began beating him without any pity,” the son said.

The latter was eventually able to escape the mob violence and sought help at a nearby police station. Police began a search for the catechist but he had vanished.

Bidyadhar said the attackers, who numbered about 20, before they started their beating, accused him and his father of involvement in the murder of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati

In the recent past radical Hindu groups have launched a systematic campaign against priests, nuns and catechists, guilty in their eyes of converting Dalits and Tribals to Catholicism.

Since the end of August in fact about 500 people have died in what amounts to an anti-Christian pogrom.

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See also
Father Bernard’s funeral in Orissa, Christ’s triumph over death
In Orissa Christians treated worse than animals, says Father Bernard
Orissa: burning and looting continues, Christians beaten and cut to pieces
Sangh Parivar wants to remove every Christian trace in Orissa
Orissa pogroms: police clear Christians from the death of Hindu religious leader


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