A missionary hospital in Ujjain was allegedly attack by a group of locals led by BJP activists on Monday following a dispute over a piece of land, which both sides claim belong to them.
Carrying a JCB the group damaged the hospital gate, a generator and disrupted electric and water supply striking fear among patients and staff, alleged PRO of Catholic Church in Madhya Pradesh Fr Maria Stephen. He said nurses who tried to stop the attackers were harmed and beaten up. He said nearly 100 people pulled down the compound wall and put up an iron fencing inside the hospital premises.
Though several police personnel passed by no one intervened and the attack continued unabated. The hospital came up in 1974 when there were no health care facilities in villages. Sisters and doctors went to nearby villages and conducted many camps and supplied free medicines.
BJP MP from Ujjain and party spokesman Chintamani Malviya, however, alleged that the hospital had encroached on a private person’s land. He said the minority community lost in both high court and the lower court after which the land owner demolished the unauthorized construction on Monday. He denied that the owner or his men attacked nurses claiming that no one was required to enter the hospital premises. He claimed even after losing the court cases the hospital was not ready to vacate the encroachment. He said the district administration had recently marked out areas owned by both parties.
A delegation led by Bishop of Ujjain called on Governor Anandiben Patel who was in the town for a scheduled visit. “The entire Catholic church is shocked to know about the planned attack. Minorities feel unsafe in the midst of repeated attacks on Church personnel and Christian institutions. Archbishop of Bhopal Leo Cornelio strongly condemned an alleged attack on Pushpa Mission Hospital, Ujjain, calling it a systematic planning to create disturbance and violence.