ON CAMERA: Mob tries to attack church in Chhattisgarh over illegal conversion row; senior IPS officer suffers head injuries

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Monday, January 02, 2023, 11:30 PM IST
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Mob tries to attack church in Chhattisgarh over illegal conversion row; senior IPS officer suffers head injuries | Screengrab

The conflict over ongoing controversial religious conversions in the tribal-dominated Bastar division took an uglier turn and resulted in a serious head injury of Superintendent of Police Narayanpur, on Monday.

The SP Naryanpur Sadanand Kumar was injured while he was trying to save the Catholic Church, Narayanpur from being attacked by the infuriated tribal group members of Sarva Adiwasi Samaj (SAS) fiercely protesting against religious conversions.

While we were trying to protect the church from being ransacked by the frenzied mob, I was hit by a stone, said injured SP Sadanand. But police restrained and used mild force to keep the situation under control, the SP said.

Just after the incident the SP and other injured people were rushed to the district hospital for immediate medication.

IG Bastar range Sundarraj P also rushed to Narayanpur to have proper stock of the situation.

The visuals of the vandalised premises has surfaced wherein the doors, windows and furniture in the building have been broken by the mob.

Meanwhile, locals informed the situation is sulking and becoming explosive for the last three months and there were apprehensions of volatile clashes between SAS in near future.    

It has been alleged SAS members organized a meeting in Gurra village, Narayanpur district on December 31, 2021, where the members planned to attack the converted Christians and oust them from the village.

Meanwhile, the issue was leaked to the Christians and the brawl occurred in the village and turned into a bloody fight.

On the next day, a meeting was held between the Christian delegation and the SAS members in the Narayanpur district collector's office to resolve the issue. Unfortunately, the arbitration process which started in the presence of the district collector Ajeet Vasanth and the SP failed to reach a conducive conclusion. A skirmish also reportedly occurred in the district collectorate compound on Monday between the groups.  However, the heavy deployment of the police force put the situation under control in no time, informed a local reporter.

Meanwhile, on the issue of SP being assaulted, Chhattisgarh Christian Forum issued a statement.

We condemn the attack in strong words and demand that the culprit should be strictly punished as per the law, Arun Pannalal, President of Chhattisgarh Christian Forum said.

However, it is not the first case, we Christians continuously facing such a situation for more than a year in Bastar and demanded that if anything wrong has happened, the accused must be convicted as per law but a frenzied mob cannot be permitted to take law in their hands, Pannalal said. The Inactiveness of law enforcement agencies and the unwillingness of the ruling government has created a pathetic situation in the state, he said.  

Our one more Church of Bakhrupara in Narayanpur was vandalized by SAS members, alleged Pannalal.

Meanwhile, Congress condemned the attack on SP and police forces and alleged that there is a conspiracy behind tribal instigation. BJP's state president Arun Sao alleged that Congress government is providing support to forced religious conversion which is infuriated the tribals  

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