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Armed men attack church; set afire Bible, thrash pastor, pregnant wife

Two unidentified men armed with sharpedged weapons barged into a church in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar district and allegedly set ablaze a Bible and other articles besides thrashing the pastor and his pregnant wife, police said on Tuesday.

Armed men attack church; set afire Bible, thrash pastor, pregnant wife
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The church in Bastar (Chhattisgarh) which was attacked by two unidentified men. (Photo: ANI)

Raipur

The incident took place on Sunday evening at Karanji Matagudi Para village under Parpa police station limits. 

“As per the written complaint of Pastor Deenbandhu Sameli, an FIR has been lodged in this connection. Continuous patrolling is being done in the region to nab the attackers. We are pretty sure that the culprits will be arrested soon,” Bastar Superintendent of Police RN Dash told PTI.

As per the complaint, two men identified themselves as belonging to another denomination of the Christian community and expressed their desire to pray in the church.

After entering the premises, they attacked the pastor and poured inflammable liquid on the Holy Bible, furniture and other religious material kept inside and set them ablaze.

“After getting information, we rushed to the spot and deployed a policeman for security throughout the night,” Dash said. Meanwhile, president of Chhattisgarh’s Christian Forum Arun Pannalal alleged that the attack was carried out by the workers of Bajrang Dal and accused police of ‘covering up’ the incident. 

“This was third attack on the religious premises of Christian community in the region. It was carried out by the goons of Bajrang Dal. Police are trying to cover it up,” Pannalal claimed. 

After breaking locks of church premises, they barged inside and poured petrol on the Bible, other holy books, furniture and mike set and torched them, he said. They also poured petrol on pastor Deenanath and his pregnant wife, Meena and tried to set them afire but somehow they managed to escape, Pannalal added.

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