Hindu extremists arrested after vandalism
FOUR Hindu extremists have been arrested by police in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu after they vandalised a newly built church.
On 12 March a mob of Hindu activists overpowered a police guard and burst into a worship service at the Church of South India’s parish in Kalapatti.
“The attackers broke the main door of the church, dam- aged the furniture, altar and the stained glass,” Prince Calvin, general secretary of the church’s Coimbatore diocese, told ucanews.com.
They also warned Christians gathered in the church for a prayer service of “dire consequences if they continued worshipping there,” he said.
The extremists demanded Christians leave the community, claiming they had no right to build a church on land they allege had been stolen.
However, the CSI reports the London Mission Society purchased the land in 1926 and built a small church on the property in 1948. Last year construction on a new larger facility began to accommodate the community’s growing Christian population.
However, Hindu activists claimed the land belonged to a nearby temple, and filed suit in the Madras High Court seeking to block construction.
The Court rejected their claim and allowed construction to begin, and directed the police to protect the site.
Local press accounts of the incident report police are searching for five other men identified as being part of the mob who vandalised the church.