A cathedral premises and a Catholic school where people had gathered for a religious convention were vandalised allegedly by Hindu activists at Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh, drawing outrage from the Christian community.
No arrests have been made so far in connection with the incident which took place on March 20 and the wee hours of March 21, when some members of the Christian community were allegedly assaulted and threatened by members of Bajrang Dal and Dharam Sena who attacked the school and a parsonage alleging that religious conversion had been taking place there. Police booked a leader of Dharma Sena and some others but church authorities questioned the “delay” in arresting the culprits.
“Dharma Sena leader Yogesh Agrawal and Raju Rai and a few others have been booked under relevant sections of the IPC and efforts are on to track down and arrest them,” Jabalpur SP H C Mishra said. The church authorities alleged that the miscreants stormed into the Cathedral premises and a school housing a grotto with St Mary’s idol.
They broke earthen pots and and shattered glass panes of windows of the parsonage, accusing Father Thankachan Jose of converting the Hindus to Christianity. Ravi Francis, claiming to be a witness, said he was roughed up by Dharma Sena and Bajrang Dal activists who stormed into Saint Thomas School campus, where some people who came for a convention were staying.
As they stormed in, police sought to chase them from the campus but they refused to give in and marched to the nearby Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral. They then barged into the Cathedral shouting “Jai Shree Ram” and demanded that Fther Thankachan be handed over to them. As they could not find him there, they vandalised the parsonage, Francis said.