Angry Mob Damages Christian Hospital in India, Stirs Up Panic

( [email protected] ) Aug 22, 2007 01:02 PM EDT

A mob of Hindu activists recently attacked a Christian Mission Hospital in India’s most populous state, injuring a pastor and causing massive damage to the properties of the hospital.

The latest incident is believed to have been over the recent Independence Day Celebration on Aug. 15, which had been organized by authorities at Kacchuwa Mission Hospital near the Hindu holy town Varanasi, in Northern India’s Uttar Pradesh state. The event, which included children's competitions and events, drew the participation of about 400 Dalit children together with their parents.

Although local authorities and the police were formally informed about the event, activists believed to be affiliated with the Hindu organizations Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bajrang Dal – the youth arm of Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) – raised their objection to the celebration and complained about the event to the local authorities, suspicious that conversion were being carried out. After investigating the matter, however, the local authorities said they found nothing against the mission hospital.

In response, the activists reportedly became infuriated and gathered their group from the vicinity of Varanasi. The huge mob then attacked the hospital at around 10:00 a.m. on Friday, destroying properties worth several thousand of rupees.

According to reports, the attackers shouted anti-Dalit and anti-Christian slogans, causing much panic in the area.

When one Christian believer tried to reason with the mob and requested for them to resolve the matter through amicable dialogue, the activists attacked him, leaving him with deep wound above his left eyebrow. A Christian pastor also tried to intervene but he too was beaten up.

By the time local police arrived at the scene, all they could witness were the remains of the damaged properties. The local magistrate also arrived later as statements were being taken.

With more recent misunderstanding by zealous activists like the RSS and Bajrang Dal against the activities of Christian establishments, authorities are making greater efforts to maintain peace in the area.