Watch: Karnataka priest escapes sword attack, Bible set on fire by Hindu right-wing activists; probe launched

Members of right-wing groups set fire to Christian religious books in Kolar, alleging conversions by the church. No arrests have been made so far.

Shankar RajUpdated: Sunday, December 12, 2021, 08:42 PM IST
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A sword-wielding man chased a Christian priest in Belagavi in north Karnataka, sending a big scare among followers.

The attempted attack on Father Francis of Saint Joseph's 'The Worker Church' on the evening of Saturday was caught on CCTV cameras and is being widely shared on social media.

The attacker first tried to hit Father Francis with his sword as soon as he came out of the house to check on a dog that was barking continuously.

“Usually my dog is inside the house but yesterday, I noticed the dog barking from outside as someone left the main gate open. I went out to get my dog inside and close the gate, that is when a person who was standing outside with a sword was almost about to attack me. I somehow managed to run and escape and called for help. The man fled after he failed to attack me,” he told the media.

The police said that they have identified the accused and efforts are on to detain him. Commissioner of Police K Thiyagarajan said the accused seemed to be mentally challenged and that prima facie, this attack was not politically motivated.

Meanwhile, members of right-wing groups set fire to Christian religious books in Kolar, alleging conversions by the church. No arrests have been made so far.

"We have warned the Christian community to not create any communal disharmony by going door-to-door and preaching. Both parties, the right-wing and the Christian community members have settled the matter amicably." an officer was quoted in the media on condition of anonymity.

The incident took place when representatives of the Christian community were going door-to-door as part of a preaching drive. They were intercepted and questioned by members of the right-wing groups, who then snatched the booklets and set them on fire.

One of the right-wing members said they did not indulge in violence. "We did not trouble them. They were distributing books in our neighbourhood and were propagating about Christianity," he told reporters.

The Kolar incident is the 38th attack on religious minorities in Karnataka in the last 12 months. There has been a wave of such attacks since the BJP-led state government started considering a bill to ban forcible religious conversions.

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