Mob attacks, beats up church officials in India

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Christians beaten up in India
Father Jose Kannumkuzhy (in white cassock) sits inside the police station after he was attacked

According to sources, three church officials and a priest were attacked by a mob in Tamil Nadu, Southern India.

All four have been hospitalized with the priest, Father Jose Kannumkuzhy, the procurator of the Ramanathapuram Syro-Malabar diocese is in critical condition.

The four men were attacked when they waited in a car parked outside a police station waiting to see the police regarding the arrest of another priest.

The men fled from the car but the attack continued, said diocesan spokesman Father Johnson Veeppattuparambil.
“Father Kannumkuzhy fell down on the road and the mob kicked him, stamped him on the stomach and wanted to kill him by hitting him with a boulder,” Father Veeppattuparambil said.

The victims’ phones were taken and they were dragged for about 2.5 kilometers.

Nobody dared interfere with the attack and the police even failed to send an ambulance. The four were able to walk back to the station.

ALSO READ: India: Accused of forced conversion, Christian man tonsured, paraded on a donkey

Talking about the reasons for the attack, Bishop Paul Alappatt of Ramanathapuram said the attack was “planned” otherwise “it was not possible for so many people to gather at such speed,” and said it was connected to a fight at a Capuchin-priest run AIDS care center.

Father Veeppattuparambil also said, “To add fuel to the fire, the police made the bleeding victims stand before the media and allowed them to take photographs as if they were culprits.”

The priest said the incident shows that there “is no safety for religious minorities” in any part of India and also noted that since the pro-Hindu political party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came in power, the attacks on Christians and Muslims have increased.

In a recent event in another Hindu majority state, a Christian man accused of converting Hindus forcefully was tonsured, garlanded with shoes and paraded on a donkey in an act of humiliation.