Twelve people were injured when a group of armed men with their faces masked attacked people attending the Sunday Mass being held at a house in Kowad village in Chandgad tehsil of Kolhapur district on Sunday, police said.
The identities of the attackers are still to be ascertained.
Deputy Superintendent of Kolhapur district police, Anil Kadam, said that a team of policemen drawn from the local crime branch and state anti-terrorism squad (ATS) have been entrusted with the investigations.
The incident took place around 11.30 am on Sunday at the house of Bhimsen Chavan, where a Sunday Mass is being organised for the last few years around Christmas. Kowad village, the site of the incident, is located near the border of Maharashtra and Karnataka.
“The Mass was being held in the basement of the house. A while after it started, a group of people came on bikes. They had their faces covered and were carrying metal rods and glass bottles. They barged into the premises, started pelting stones and attacked the people in attendance,” Kadam said.
Police said the assailants also vandalised vehicles of the people who were in attendance. As the mob began beating up people, some of the women present tried to retaliate.
After the attack, the assailants fled on their bikes.
“As per our knowledge, this village does not have a history of any such incident. To identify the attackers and arrest them, Superintendent of Police Abhinav Deshmukh has formed five teams, including local police officers, those from the crime branch and the ATS. The motive behind the attack will be clear only after the attackers are arrested. All the injured are out of danger. Some of them have fractures,” Kadam said.
Sources in the police said that the teams have zeroed in on some areas in and around Belgaum in Karnataka to look for the suspects.
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