Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Attack on Churches: Mangalore under Seige

Mangalore September 14, 2008: The Sangh Parivar has struck again in Mangalore! Initial reports say that this morning on Sunday, September 14th 2008, they entered the Monastery of the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration at Milagres, Mangalore in the heart of the city and desecrated the Blessed Sacrament.

The reports that came in later said that they had entered and desecrated many of the churches in and around Mangalore.

In the past few days the Sangh Parivar has been distributing booklets at the gates of schools to the school children and in public places. These booklets have contained inflammatory contents which would be a great cause for disturbance of communal harmony in Mangalore and in Dakshina Kannada.

Update: 8.00 pm 14/9/2008
First Person Account - Sr Joy BS

There was a big gathering on the road in front of the Milagres hall, Mangalore. We were all sitting in protest against the incident mentioned above. Most of the political leaders, sisters and fathers, and a big number of lay people both men and women were present. At about 5:30 pm there was some verbal altercation between the youth in the protest group and the police who had gathered in very large numbers and Fr. Francis Serrao SJ was addressing the protesters, when the police charged at the peacefully sitting protesters with lathis and began to cane them left and right. They also fired tear gas shells without any warning and forced the protesters to take shelter in the Milagres Hall.

This is the way the government machinery was used to fulfill their aim and it certainly gave the impression that the perpetrators of the crime will be let loose even this time.

On the other hand, a TV news channel reported that there was stone pelting on the police. When the police force was ready with everything to beat us with, including their bullet proof shields, lathis and tear gas shells, the news channel reported only that there was stone pelting by the crowd. Luckily for us, another channel showed a very good picture of police men pelting stones and tear gas shells.

Many youth were hurt by the heavy lathi blows. One of the sisters, Sr Pramila of Sisters of Charity of Mangalore was hit with a stone from the police while she was right inside the gate of the Milagres Church Hall. She was injured very badly and taken to Fr. Mullers Hospital and it is not yet known about the state of her eye.

We ask you all to pray for us and for peace in our region. We need your prayers and perhaps some united action; a glimpse of which we experienced today.

No comments: