Chattisgarh (India), 6 March, 2016: (report from bibles4mideast): A group of Hindu militants forcefully entered a church with wielding sticks and hockey sticks and vandalised it in Kachana colony of the outskirt of Raipur in Chattisgarh State in India on Sunday, 6 March, 2016 when the Sunday prayer service was underway.
According to eye witnesses, around 15 people on 8-9 bikes arrived at the spot while the Sunday prayer was going-on in the church, a red-coloured small room situated at the end of the road which further had just barren fields.
Reportedly, many people have been injured in the incident including women. Those who have been injured in the attack have been rushed to the nearest hospital for immediate treatment.
There were around 70 people having worshipping service inside when the attackers came.
The attackers were chanting ‘Jai Shree Ram’ and were making allegations of religious conversion against the pastor and the church. Also they ripped off women’s clothes and threw a two-year-old boy on the ground.
Broken chairs, damaged musical instruments and a desecrated altar could be seen inside the church which was vandalised.
"We were praying and out of the blue the men started attacking us. They attacked women and children and beat up the people. We tried to find out what their problem was but they gave us no explanation. They warned us that we must clear out from this place," a parishioner who was present in the church told the bibles4mideast.
They abused people offering prayers and even attacked kids and nuns,” said another woman.
It was not clear to which group the attackers belonged. However, Chhattisgarh Christian Forum president Arun Pannalal blamed the Bajrang Dal. He said six women were injured in the attack.
"This is the fourth attack on churchgoers in Chhattisgarh in the past five weeks. We are trying to get a First Information Report filed," Pannalal said.
Pastor Paul Ciniraj, the President of the Christian Ministers of the Churches in India (CMCI) condemned the attack towards the church and believers and said, "Persecution towards Christians, Dalits and other minorities are seemingly increasing throughout India.”
"Priests, pastors, missionaries, evangelists and believers are being murdered, beaten, abducted and jailed. Women are being raped. Churches and institutions stoned, vandalized and demolished," Ciniraj added.
Raman Singh, the Chief Minister of Chattisgarh condemned the attack. “Police are investigating the case with all seriousness. Nobody guilty will be spared, and strict action will be taken,” he said in a statement.
Late news: Nine men were arrested after mid-night for the attack on the church. And Another 7 men are expected to be arrested in the next few hours, police said.
The men were tracked through the three motorbikes recovered from the spot.
The Union home ministry has already asked for a report on the incident. "The administration has taken action and the culprits will not be spared," said junior home minister Kiren Rijiju.