Last Sunday night in the city of Kubbu, in Jharkand state, eastern India, an armed gang entered a Catholic Church and attacked both the pastor and the vicar of the parish, inflicting serious knife wounds on the latter, and both were admitted to hospital.
The gang, number around a dozen men, made off with the money from the Church’s collection boxes after ransacking the house. The police, who arrived at the crime scene a while later, have no clues as to the identity of the attackers. They have posted two guards to keep watch over the church, meanwhile they have dismissed the case as an ordinary robbery.
Mgr. Michael Minj, Bishop of Gumla (another district in Jharkhand State) told AsiaNews that “the attack has shaken locals. The fact that the attackers were armed means that their act was premeditated…Attacks against Christian institutions like the one that occurred on Sunday are worrying,” Bishop Minj said.
However he will await “the return of Cardinal Toppo, Archbishop of Ranchi (Jharkhand’s State capital), who is now in South Korea attending the Assembly of Asian Bishops, before the case is taken up with State authorities.”
The Church has been fostering development and education programs among the tribal people, the Adivasi, who are populous in Jharkhand State, actions which have angered many Hindu fundamentalists, who regard them as forms of proselytism.