Friday, May 18, 2007

Priest attacked in Jharkhand

Priest at RIMS after attack


Ranchi, May 15: A 45-year-old priest, identified as George Minj, has been shifted to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences Ranchi (RIMS) in a serious condition after he was beaten up by some unidentified youths late last evening.

Minj is currently the in-charge of Garha Lodhma parish under the Roman Catholic Church, under Bharno police station in Gumla. The priest, who sustained serious head injuries, is admitted at the neuro ward of RIMS for advanced treatment.

The incident occurred yesterday evening after Minj was returning from Kharsanga Village under Bharno police station in Gumla, some 65-km from Ranchi.

“I had gone to see the people there following reports of an outbreak of malaria. Around 7.30 pm, while I was returning to my parish some youths attacked me. The area where I was waylaid was near a dense forest adjoining the village area,” Minj said.

According to Minj, the attackers were carrying sticks and they had hit him on the head several times unless he lost consciousness. His left eye is badly swollen whilst his left hand is suspected to have been fractured. After recovering from the initial shock, the injured priest somehow managed to inform the nearby villagers who had brought him to his parish at Garha Lodhma. Doctors attending the injured priest said his condition was stable.

Minj recalled that a week ago, some youths had attacked St Paul’s High School and had broken many of the glass panes.

“Attacks on priests are frequent, though we do not complain and carry on our service to the people,” he said.

Meanwhile reacting to the incident, Cardinal Telesphore P. Toppo, who is currently in Rome, told The Telegraph over the phone that the attack on priests reflected the poor state of affairs prevailing in the society.

“Priests go to the most remote of villages, unarmed and unescorted to serve the poor and needy. Attacks on priests need to be condemned in the strongest of terms. However, I will pray both for the injured priest as well as for the attackers so that God might show them the light of the day,” Toppo said.

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