Monday, April 30, 2007

Christian preacher attacked in Jaipur

Special Correspondent

Masked intruders go on rampage in house in the vicinity of Chief Minister's official residence

— Photo: PTI

BEFORE AND AFTER: Getting ready for the attack on preacher Walter Massey are some men who are covering their faces.

JAIPUR: Masked youth attacked and seriously injured a Christian preacher and went on the rampage in his house in the neighbourhood of the official residence of the Rajasthan Chief Minister here on Sunday afternoon. Walter Massey has been admitted to the emergency ward of the Sawai Man Singh Medical College Hospital here. Authorities there termed his condition stable. No arrest has been made so far.

Mr. Massey runs a small congregation, `Masihi Sanghti,' from his middleclass residence at Nandpuri Bazar. The intruders, numbering 15-20, used sticks and whatever came in handy to attack Mr. Masseyin the presence of his wife and child.

His wife Joyce told this correspondent that initially three persons came seeking to meet her husband. When the door was opened, they engaged the preacher in a conversation and in no time started assaulting him. And more men, covering their faces, joined in the attack.

As the attackers dragged a profusely bleeding Massey out of the house, a neighbour Samuel Roberts, who was passing by, rushed to the Sodala police station, half km away.

Ms. Joyce and the child were not hurt though the intruders broke plastic chairs, utensils and furniture.

— Photo: PTI

The image of the bleeding missionary.

Mr. Roberts said there were around 25 men, who covered their faces and were wielding sticks, outside Mr. Massey's residence.

Assailants on video

Additional Superintendent of Police (South) Subhash Vishnoi said the police were trying to identify the persons spotted on a video on the incident telecast by some TV channels. A case has been registered.

The Congress, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind condemned the attack.

Congress general secretary Ashok Gehlot termed it a "very serious matter" and demanded the immediate arrest of the culprits.

"Vishwa Hindu Parishad workers have once again taken law into their own hands in the name of stopping religious conversions in the State and this is condemnable." CPI (M) State secretary Vasudev said, "The Chief Minister and the Home Minister should take the responsibility for the attack," which occurred in the Civil Lines locality."Hardly four days ago did workers of the BJP-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarti Parishad attempt to attack the CPI (M) State headquarters on Hatwara Road, he alleged.

Engineer Mohammed Saleem, new president of the State Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, said the attack put a question mark on the very existence of a government in the State.

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