Youths vandalize church, thrash worshippers in Raipur

Monday, Mar 7, 2016,11:13 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Raipur | A group of youths, allegedly members of Sanghaparivar outfit, barged into a church in Chhattisgarh Sunday, and vandalised the premises and thrashed the people present, police said.

Around 15-20 youths entered the church premises located at Kachna village on the outskirts of Raipur, the capital city of the state of Chhattisgarh, while prayer was underway, Raipur Additional Superintendent of Police Neeraj Chandrakar told PTI.

They allegedly damaged chairs, fans and other articles in the premises and even beat up the people present, he said. The accused were reportedly sporting saffron bands on their forehead, he said. They fled the spot when the police arrived. Based on the victims’ complaint, a case has been registered under sections 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt), 295(injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) and 147(rioting) of the IPC, he said. Three motorcycles belonging to the accused were seized from the spot, he said, adding efforts are on to nab the miscreants.

Meanwhile, president of Chhattisgarh’s Christian Forum, Arun Pannalal claimed that it was the fourth attack on a Christian place of worship in the past one month in the state. Around 15-20 men with saffron bands on their forehead entered the church while Sunday prayer was under way at around 12 noon, and started vandalizing the premises, Pannalal said. They started damaging chairs and fans. They did not spare women and even tore up their clothes. They also thrashed an infant, he said. The assailants were heard accusing that people were being converted in the church.

A group of 40-50 people from downtrodden families in the village had set up the church under a tin shed, where they perform prayers every Sunday, he said, refuting the conversion charge. He expressed gratitude to the police, who reached the spot immediately after the attack and took the necessary action.

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