Second attack on Church in Orissa; tension grips town

Suspected Hindu fundamentalists allegedly ransacked a church and abused a nun for converting locals.
( [email protected] ) Nov 29, 2003 11:12 AM EST

Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India., Nov. 29 – Tension continues to prevail in the district headquarter town of Deogarh in western Orissa after an attack on a church, the alleged abuse of a nun and ransacking of the house of a preacher on Thursday by suspected supporters of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal.

About 15 persons, who opposed conversion of some tribal families, had first ransacked the house of a preacher in Ambulpani village, 15 km from the town. As he was away, they took out some papers and leaflets from his room and set them on fire. Later, they went to the town to submit a memorandum to the Collector. However, as he was not present in his official residence, they handed it over to the Additional District Magistrate.

According to the Deogarh Superintendent of Police, Laxmidhar Nayak, while returning from the Magistrate’s office, they went to Rajamunda’s village and threw stones at a church breaking the glasspanes of its main door. They set some leaflets on fire outside the church and allegedly abused a nun for 'converting' people of the area, Mr. Nayak said.

Two cases have been registered against the attackers. No arrests had been made till this evening.