A group of rightwing Hindu activists yesterday attacked an Orthodox school in a central Indian town in protest at disciplinary actions against three students, witnesses say.
The group forced their way into the visitors’ room of St. Mary’s Higher Secondary School in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh and shouted anti-Christian slogans, ucanews.com reports.
They then smashed a picture of the Blessed Virgin in the visitors’ room state before staff prevented them from further action.
Another group of nearly 50 young people later went to the school and threatened the staff.
School principal Father K. J. Louis said the troublemakers had been angered by the school for punishing three students for indiscipline.
The police were called and are now being asked to offer protection to the school, the principal told ucanews.com today.
The principal said the school acted against the students after getting their parents’ consent. They had been suspended them for 10 days in November after they were caught setting off firecrackers in the school premises.
Catholic Bishop Gerald Almeida of Jabalpur condemned the incident, which he said was part of an ongoing hate campaign against Christians in the state.
The protests are suspected members of the student wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, Indian people’s party) which rules Madhya Pradesh.
Christians and their institutions in the state have witnessed several incidents of violence after the BJP came to power seven years ago.
Since then, more than 180 cases of attacks on Christians have been reported from the state.
The school has started 25 years ago and has some 2,500 students.