Newark auxiliary bishop assaulted during Mass

January 30, 2017 by  
Filed under newsletter-world

New Jersey, January 30, 2017: A Catholic bishop in New Jersey was slightly injured during a memorial Mass for a revered Hall of Fame baseball player when a crazed man in a white robe walked up to the altar and punched him in the mouth.

The attack Saturday caught the 63-year-old Most Reverend Manuel A. Cruz, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark, completely by surprise, knocking him backward until he fell on the altar, according Tapinto.net, a local news website.

Officers with the Essex County Sheriff’s Office rushed the altar and handcuffed the attacker, who may have showed up for the Mass at Newark’s Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in a classic purple Cadillac Eldorado with a faux-zebra skin interior, the website reported.

About 75 people witnessed the attack, according to the website reported.

The Mass was being held to commemorate the life of baseball great Roberto Clemente, who died in a 1972 plane crash as he flew to Nicaragua to deliver aid to earthquake victims.

“We are all praying for Bishop Cruz,” said Newark elected official Luis Quintana, who organized the Mass and was in tears when he spoke to Tapinto. “It’s hard to understand what would provoke a man to attack a member of the clergy within the sanctity of a church. It just doesn’t make any sense.”

The punch may have loosened some of Cruz’s teeth, according to the website.

Cruz was taken to the hospital for treatment and authorities said his injuries were not serious, the Newark Star-Ledger reported.

Officers told the paper the man who was arrested for the assault was Charles Miller, a 48-year-old Newark man.

Officials weren’t saying why Miller punched Cruz.

“We are thankful that law enforcement officers were able to apprehend the assailant,” said James Goodness, spokesman for the Newark Archdiocese. “This is not something that we expect to happen in any of our churches.”

– fox news

Catholic Church endorses SC order on marriage annulment

January 30, 2017 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Bhopal, January 30, 2017: The Catholic Church has endorsed an Indian Supreme Court (SC) order that invalidated Church courts or ecclesiastic tribunals annulling marriage of a Catholic couple here on January 30.

The president of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) Cardinal Oswald Gracias said, “there is no contradiction in the SC order as we have been following it even before”.

The prelate said it during a press conference organized at Pastoral Centre, Asha Niketan campus on the eve of the 29th Plenary Assembly of the CCBI to be held in Bhopal, Central Indian capital of Madhya Pradesh state.

The week long assembly will conclude on February 8 with the election of new office bearers to head the Church body consisting 132 dioceses with 182 Bishops.

The prelate also made it clear that the annulment of the marriages by the church courts does not violate any civil law and hence, make no offence.

The SC in its January 19 order declared the divorce granted by the ecclesiastical tribunal under the Christian personal law as invalid as it cannot override the laws of the land while dismissing a public interest litigation (PIL) that sought direction to legalize the marriage annulment by the church courts.

The vice president of the CCBI, Bishop Filipe Neri Ferrao, secretary general of the CCBI, Bishop Varghese Chakkalakal, Archbishop of Bhopal Leo Cornelio and vice secretary general of the CCBI Father Stephen Alatara also joined the cardinal to address the media to shed light on the assembly of bishops in the Central Indian capital.

The bishops, the cardinal said, would chalk out the action plan to revitalize the family apostolate in the Church in view the theme of the gathering – Promoting the Joy of Love in Our Families.

Elaborating on the theme further, Archbishop Cornelio said, “we are not focusing only on Catholic families alone”.

The Church always focused on the welfare and happiness of everyone irrespective one’s religious or linguistic difference, he asserted.

“The thrust areas of our discussion” he explained, “will revolve around helping the young couples to cope up with the difficulties of family life and leading an exemplary life, upbringing of children, loss of trust among families, nuclear families among other things”.

When asked whether the Church found difficulty in working in the current environment where it faces constant accusation of involving in religious conversion, the prelate said, “it is nothing new every time such allegations are made against us”.

“We are here to spread the message of love and peace and not religious conversion”, he asserted.

“We cannot and never force anyone to convert, we want everyone to follow their religion with full vigor”, added the bishop.

“If we were converting why the Christian population in the country is just below three per cent”, wondered the prelate.

On insecurity among Christians, Bishop Cornelio said, “fringe groups attack and threaten us and the lethargy on the part of the law enforcing agencies is a cause of concern for us”.

The Assembly will begin on January 31, with a solemn Eucharistic celebration at Assumption Church, Asha Niketan campus.

– matters india

Catholics’ political clout wanes in Goa

January 30, 2017 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Panaji, January 30, 2017: Catholics in Goa are poised to see their once decisive political edge plummet next month when the former Portuguese colony goes to polls amid increasing pro-Hindu propaganda and political chaos.

Some 250 candidates are in the fray for the Feb. 4 election to choose just 40 legislative members who will run the tiny state of 1.8 million people for the next five years.

The election will see a largely three-pronged fight with the ruling pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), its main rival, the Indian National Congress and the new-comer, Aam Admi Party (Common Man’s Party).

Choices for the Catholic voter has been compounded by the fact multiple Catholics are members of all three parties which will lead to the division of the Catholic vote, said Francisco Colaco, a cardiologist.

The ineffectiveness of both the Indian National Congress and the BJP when they were in power in the past has led to the disillusionment of Catholic loyalists as well as lower-caste Hindus leading them to switch sides to the Aam Admi Party and a host of new groups, including independents.

Moreover, a significant number of Catholics were dropped from the voters list after the Election Commission said that over 27,000 Goans, overwhelmingly Catholics, would be disenfranchised because they held Portuguese passports.

“We are going through hard times. We Catholics are few and getting fewer by the day. Sad to say, we are unwanted here unless we are ready to live as second-class citizens under the yoke of Hindu hegemony,” Colaco said.

The crisis is evident as some influential Catholics associated with the BJP describe themselves as “Hindu-Catholic” giving primacy to the cultural ideologies of their party.

“With the presence of several new candidates and parties in fray, the Catholic vote is slowly losing its decisive edge. With several options now available, the Indian National Congress, which enjoyed Catholic support, has lost its privileged position. But the Catholics are also losing the power to shape their destiny,” Colaco said.

But for the ruling BJP, the elections will not to be an easy win either. Its two prime supporters, including the powerful umbrella Hindu group, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) that propagates turning secular India into a Hindu theocracy, have disowned the party.

The RSS has accused the BJP, which won won 21 of 40 seats in 2012, of “minority appeasement” by not implementing some educational polices because of Catholic opposition.

However, the official church came out on Jan. 20 with election guidelines that are widely seen as criticizing the BJP’s polices and programs as anti-poor and discriminative.

The guidelines, from archdiocesan Council of Social Justice and Peace, without naming any party, drew attention to the serious threat to the environment due to indiscriminate development.

It also made a veiled attack on the BJP government in New Delhi. The BJP federal government, with their “emphasis on digital and cashless payments involving smart phones, ATM cards and payment apps as the basic requirement for every citizen to avail themselves of government benefits and purchases is worrisome,” it said.

It added that people should rise above religion, caste, creed and other selfish considerations and vote for upright, knowledgeable, principled and sincere leaders.

– ucan

Religious form inclusive lawyers’ forum

January 30, 2017 by  
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Delhi, January 30, 2017: Lawyers among Catholic priests, nuns and brothers have formed a single forum to help accelerate what they called their “prophetic call” to work for justice among the poor.

Some 30 women and men religious as well as some diocesan priest lawyers who came together at Jana Deepa Vidyapeet in Pune Jan. 13-15 to reflect on their mission found it necessary to have a forum that include them all.

The church-run rights group Streevani & Montfort Social Institute brought the lawyers together.

Advocate Flavia Agnes addressing the gathering said she took up law “to bring about social transformation” inspired by Bible, which says: “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brother/sister, you do it to me.”

She said people “live in cultural and religious spaces, especially women, so rights can be exercised within a complex rights based system only when we engage with all these spaces.”

Layer priests M.T. Joseph P.D. Mathew stressed how to use the Constitution to enforce equality and rights.

Brother Varghese Thecknath psoke about the importance of using international human rights instruments ratified by India in the pursuit of justice.

Father P.D. Mathew pointed out that Public Interest Litigations (PILs) are rooted in the prophetic vision and Mission of Jesus. “We need to conceive Jesus in our hearts and minds and deliver him to the masses.”

He also stressed the need to building a network to strengthen the network. He also cautioned about using the right language in our quest for human rights. “Always say you are helping the government to implement rights of poor.”

The sharing of stories from the field, by the participants, was strikingly similar. Many shared how they were drawn into law because they were touched by the dire need of the poor, the marginalized, violence to women, the dispossessed and the prisoner.

It reinforced the need for building solidarity among lawyers who are nuns, brother and priests. “We felt that we had much to learn and share with each other for solidarity and support,” said Holy Spirit Sister Julie George of Streevani.

– ucan

Fear in disguise

January 29, 2017 by  
Filed under newsletter-miscellaneous

“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Fear–it doesn’t always come marching into our lives wearing a T-shirt labeled “fear.” Sometimes fear takes on disguises and appears as a welcome guest. Yet beware: disguised or not, fear enslaves wherever it goes.

I recently found this intruder taking on the noble-sounding disguise of wanting to get it right. I wanted to say the proper thing. I didn’t want it to be taken wrong or misunderstood. That all sounded noble, yet it was the voice of fear, not the Lord.

Deep down, I was afraid I would mess up, say the wrong thing, or cause someone else to stumble. Those fears–disguised as they were–were enslaving me, keeping me from speaking and acting in God’s freedom and truth.

God has not given us a spirit of fear. He’s called us to “stir up” the gifts He’s given us–to serve Him wholeheartedly, without fearing our mistakes, other’s opinions, or anything else. It’s His love–not fear–that we want to govern each action.

If you find fear trying to sneak its way into your heart, yank its mask off with the truth. Remind yourself of God’s unconditional love–that He is leading and guiding you and is over even your mistakes. Focus on His greatness. Recognize His power over every circumstance. And walk forward in His love–trusting Him and obeying His call.

– christian perspective

Christian teenager held hostage by ISIS for 2 years survives to talk about it

January 29, 2017 by  
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Iraq, January 26, 2017: A Christian teenager who lived two years under the torturous rule of the Islamic State terrorist organization in the group’s largest Iraqi stronghold has opened up about the frightening experiences he and his mother faced at the hands of the jihadi death cult.

Ismail al-Kanon, a Chaldean Catholic teenager, was just 14-years-old when IS (also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh) took over large swaths of territory in the Nineveh Plains of Iraq in the summer of 2014.

Although hundreds of thousands of Christians were able to flee from their homes and find safety in the Kurdish north, Ismail and his mother, 54-year-old Jandar Nasi, were not as fortunate to escape from their hometown of Bartella before IS arrived.

“We’re the only ones who stayed, everybody else left,” Ismail, who is now living in Kurdistan, told PRI in a recent interview. “We had no clue what had happened.”

Bartella, which was a predominantly Christian town before IS tookover, was just about emptied when the terror group started their occupation. However, Nasi was too sick to travel and Ismail chose to stay behind to take care and protect his mother.

Three days after IS swept through Bartella, Ismail and Nasi changed their minds and decided to try and flee to the autonomous Kurdistan region and live as refugees.

Although the son and mother were successful in hailing a cab once they left their home, they only made it about halfway to the Kurdish city of Erbil before they were stopped at an IS checkpoint.

Once the militants found out that Ismail and his mother were Christians, they were taken into custody and transported to IS’ largest Iraqi stronghold and Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul.

“I told one of them I was a Christian from Bartella. He ordered me to step out of the car and hit me on the head,” Ismail said of the militant he encountered at the checkpoint in the town of Khazer. “He then tied my hands and took us to Mosul.”

“That was the first time I saw ISIS,” he added.

Ismail and his mother are devout Christians who lived near one of the six churches in Bartella. But when they were jailed in Mosul and an IS militant told his mother to convert or her son would be killed, they felt like they had very little choice and had to do what the militant said.

When the militant asked if they would convert to Islam, they told him they would have to think about it. The militant gave them plenty to contemplate, as he went to the next cell and killed a Shiite Muslim prisoner who refused to convert to IS’ strict brand of Sunni Islam.

“They came and took us to [the man’s corpse] and told us that this would be my fate if we don’t convert,” Ismail told PRI. “My mother then said let’s do whatever they want so that they wouldn’t kill me. So we told them yes, we will convert. They asked us to say the shahada [Islamic declaration of faith] and we said it.”

However, neither Ismail nor his mother felt that they had actually made the conversion in their hearts. Ismail even explained that despite having recited the shahada, he still wore a cross underneath his shirt.

The mother and son were eventually released from the prison but forced into a form of house arrest in different residences in Mosul. During that time, Ismail explained that militants had devised heinous and torturous ways to coerce him and his mother to learn Islamic prayers.

“They would come and check on us every day and teach us the prayers. When we didn’t learn their prayer correctly, they would beat us,” Ismail explained. “My mother is epileptic. She would learn something then forget it after she had a seizure. They would teach her, then come to her the next day, they would ask her the same question but she wouldn’t know the answer.”

One way in which the militants tried to force Ismail’s mother to learn the prayers was by injecting her with a needle until she bled out. Ismail said the militants told her mother that if she didn’t learn the prayers the blood would keep pouring out.

In total, Ismail said he was arrested seven times when he was in Mosul.

“They would take me from the house and take me to a prison,” he explained. “They would sometimes keep me there for three days. Every time, they would give me 25 lashes, shave my head and then release me.”

Despite having been beaten and tortured by IS, Ismail stayed informed about the international efforts to defeat IS by watching the news. He was aware that the Iraqi-led coalition was planning an offensive to push IS out of Mosul last October.

Once the conflict with the coalition reached the city, the militants in charge of watching Ismail and his mother became preoccupied which gave them an opportunity to escape.

Once they escaped from the house, they squatted in an abandoned apartment near the front lines of the conflict.

However, they were eventually found in the apartment by IS fighters.

“ISIS were on the roofs of the buildings, they saw us and started shooting at us,” Ismail said. “They aimed at my mother but [the bullet] went through her robe and didn’t hit her. She could have died.”

At that point, Ismail and his mother decided to risk their lives by running to the safety of the Iraqi troops. Once they were taken in by the Iraqi army, they knew they were liberated.

“I was in disbelief,” Ismail said. “I saw the army’s faces, they had no beards, their faces were clear like a shining light. I would see ISIS fighters all the time looking like monkeys, hair all over, they looked like they came from the stone ages.”

After being liberated by troops in Mosul, they were sent to a displacement camp outside of the city before they were taken to Erbil, where they have found shelter in an abandoned office building.

“I’m mentally and physically tired,” Ismail explained. “My feelings towards ISIS are that I want to completely erase them. But at the same time our religion doesn’t promote cruelty. It says ‘Whoever hits you on the cheek offer him the other also.'”

Like many other victimised Christians from the Nineveh Plains, Ismail and his mother are planning to leave Iraq for good, saying, “It is ruined.”

– christian post

US will prioritize Christian refugees: Trump

January 29, 2017 by  
Filed under newsletter-lead

U.S., January 28, 2017: US President Donald Trump said persecuted Christians will be given priority over other refugees seeking to enter the US, saying they have been “horribly treated”.

Speaking with the Christian Broadcasting Network on Friday, Trump said that it had been “impossible, or at least very tough” for Syrian Christians to enter the US, CNN reported.

“If you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible and the reason that was so unfair — everybody was persecuted, in all fairness — but they were chopping off the heads of everybody but more so the Christians. And I thought it was very, very unfair. So we are going to help them.”

Trump did not name a reason or offer any evidence about why the agencies that vet refugees, including the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department, would have prioritized Muslim refugees over Christians.

According to a report by the non-partisan Pew Research Center, however, 99 per cent of the nearly 12,600 Syrians granted refugee status last year were Muslims. Less than 1 per cent were Christian. Syria’s population is 87 per cent Muslim and 10 per cent Christian, according to the CIA World Fact Book.

Also on Friday, Trump signed an executive order freezing refugee applications from seven Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and Africa, including Syria. It’s unclear how his pledge to help persecuted Christians from those countries will accord with that plan.

The US admitted a record number of 38,901 Muslim refugees in 2016, according to a study conducted by Pew. But nearly the same number of Christians, 37,521 were also admitted.

Many religious groups have denounced Trump’s proposed ban on refugees from Muslim-majority countries.

At the same time, many Christian groups that resettle refugees in the US decry the persecution of their brethren overseas but said the country should not give favour to fellow Christians or bar Muslims.

“We would resist that strongly,” Scott Arbeiter, president of World Relief, the humanitarian arm of the National Association of Evangelicals and one of nine agencies that partner with the federal government to resettle refugees.

“Some of the most vulnerable people in the world right now are Muslims. If we say no Muslim should be let in, we are denying the humanity and dignity of people made in the image of God.”

– times of india

‘Politics behind’ Indian state’s tribal university announcement

January 29, 2017 by  
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New Delhi, January 27, 2017: An announcement by a pro-Hindu state government that it is seeking to establish a university solely for tribal people has been met with skepticism from activists and church leaders who suspect the motivation is political.

State chief minister Raghubar Das of Jharkhand state, a tribal heartland in eastern India, said Jan. 23 they are waiting for the federal government to accept plans to establish a university dedicated to the higher education of tribal people. The state is ruled by the National Democratic Alliance government, led by Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.

If the university goes ahead it will be India’s second such university after the Indira Gandhi Tribal University in the central state of Madhya Pradesh.

The announcement — made during a presentation for the state’s annual budget — has been cautiously applauded by some.

Father Stanislaus Tirkey, secretary of the Indian bishops’ office for tribal people, is one who has cautiously applauded the announcement, which was made during a presentation of the state’s annual budget.

“We welcome the initiative. This will be a symbol of tribal empowerment and a symbol of tribal intelligentsia in the tribal land,” Father Tirkey told ucanews.com.

However the Jesuit priest, himself an Oraon tribal, expressed reservations.

“Let’s hope that the government fulfills its promises because many a time such announcements just remain as political statement,” he said.

Anabel Benjamin Bara, who teaches at the Jesuit-managed XLRI–Xavier School of Management, has doubts about the announcement.

“I really suspect it is only a mere political statement. We have to see if the government is serious or not,” Bara said.

Suspicion stems from the past actions of the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party government, which amended a century-old land ceiling act that allows the government to take possession of tribal land for development works such as roads, schools and bridges. The law has resulted in thousands of tribal people conducting street protests against the government.

Mukti Prakash Tirkey, editor of a weekly on tribal affairs published in New Delhi, said the state’s tribal university announcement was made to “pacify the tribal people” who have protested against the controversial law which has taken their land. “It is just vote bank politics,” said Tirkey.

Through this move the government “wants to divert the attention of the people from the core issues,” Tirkey said.

Tribal activist like Gladson Dungdung said the government aims to consolidate the tribal support for itself with the announcement.

“If the government is serious and sincere about tribal advancement, it should focus on primary education,” Dungdung said.

“We are still struggling to bring children to the primary school at the village level. If the students don’t complete even primary and secondary education, how they can join the university?” he asked.

Jharkhand has some 9 million tribal people, who form 26 percent of the state’s 33 million population. About 1.5 million people in the state are Christians, at least half of them Catholics. Government statistics show only some 60 percent of tribal people can read and write their names.

The majority of the tribal people live in remote villages. Many of them become victims of human trafficking while others are forced to join militant Maoist groups who are active in 21 of 24 districts in the state.

Jharkhand state was created 17 years ago when tribal-dominated areas were carved out of Bihar state.

– ucan

Rich-poor gap challenges the church

January 29, 2017 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

New Delhi, January 26, 2017: The gap between India’s rich and poor is increasing rapidly according to a recent study which has led to church leaders to look again at their efforts to help the poor.

Anti-poverty advocacy group Oxfam recently found that just 1 percent of India’s population owns 58 percent of the nation’s wealth. In their report, released Jan. 16, Oxfam said that 57 billionaires in India have the same amount of wealth as the bottom 70 percent of the country’s 1.2 billion people.

“India is hitting global headlines for many reasons, but one of them is for being one of the most unequal countries in the world with a very high and sharply rising concentration of income and wealth,” said Nisha Agrawal, head of Oxfam in India, said in a statement.

However, India’s budget for 2017-18 provides a major opportunity to reverse the trend “and to put in place policies that will raise taxes in a more progressive way and to spend those on basic education and basic health care to create a more equal opportunity country,” Agrawal said.

A global issue

The 48-page report titled “An Economy for the 99 Percent” showed that the worldwide gap between rich and poor is far greater than had been feared.

The nonprofit said that new and improved data on the distribution of global wealth — particularly in India and China — indicates that the poorest half of the world has less wealth than had been previously thought. Eight men own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity, said Oxfam about the report’s findings.

Oxfam International Executive Director Winnie Byanyima said that it is “obscene for so much wealth to be held in the hands of so few when 1 in 10 people survive on less than US$2 a day.”

She added that inequality is trapping hundreds of millions in poverty, fracturing our societies and undermining democracy.

India needs to respond

Christians leaders in India said the report challenges their various denominations over their efforts to help the poor.

“The report indicates that new economic globalization has not addressed the concerns of the poor. The Indian government needs to acknowledge and respond to the growing inequality,” Samuel Jayakumar of the National Council for Churches in India, an umbrella body of Protestant and Orthodox churches.

He told ucanews that the churches in India need to do more work in the field of education and in the rural sector.

“Even though the various churches have been doing work in these fields, the current situation comes as a challenge,” said Jayakumar.

John Dayal, a Catholic layleader and member of the Indian government’s National Integration Council, said that the church has failed in keeping the larger social audit. It is an interlocutor of the poor and has failed in its role.

“It is a dereliction of duty for any religious group if it does not speak for the ordinary people. The large disparity is only a measurable index. The agony is immeasurable and the church needs to understand the agony and not the numbers,” said Dayal who is also a member of ucanews.com’s board of directors and an occasional op-ed contributor.

Expressing concern over the implications of the inequality between the rich and the poor, Dayal said the consequences of this situation would be “very grave.”

“These few rich people not only control the resources but they control the governance, future allocation of resources, policies and law. We are just looking at the statistics. We also need to see the implications,” he said.

“All religion and religious groups, particularly the Catholics, are the conscience keepers. The church in India has a twin role of keeping the moral audit of the administration and to be able to tell the government where to direct its energy,” he said.

Dayal added that the church only goes to court when its own rights are violated but does not approach the law when the basic rights of people are impacted.

A.C. Michael, coordinator of the United Christian Forum and a Catholic, told ucanews.com that India has always lacked a policy for the poor.

“Not only the government but all of us, including the church, has to be answerable for this inequality,” he said.

– ucan

Kerala Church attacker confesses role of Hindu radical organisation RSS

January 29, 2017 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Kerala, January 28, 2017: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh worker from Kerala’s Kannur district who had earlier alleged that the RSS tried to kill him t,on Saturday that he was mentally and physically tortured.

Vishnu, the RSS worker, at the hospital and said that all allegations should be inquired..Vishnu alleged that the organisation (RSS)he worked for 18 years wanted to kill him after making him write a suicide note blaming his death on Jayarajan. He alleged that for almost a month he was held captive and tortured mentally. by RSS

I have been working for the RSS for the last 18 years. But during the elections, things changed in the RSS,” he told CNN News18.

Kannan, an accused in Kannur’s Dhanraj murder case took over as a pracharak. Problems intensified in Kannur after he came there. When there was nothing happening, we ourselves created tension to keep the area active.

Vishnu said that he along with a few others questioned the action but Kannan was not listening to what they had to say. He then informed the police about Kannan, which is why the RSS was angry with him.

“On December 15 some RSS workers I knew picked me up in a car. As soon as I got in I knew something was wrong but I was unable to get out. When I put my hand at the back of the vehicle I found a sword,” he said.

“I was to a place in Thiruvananthapuram where there were many RSS leaders. They asked me whether I told to police about Kannan and I said yes,” he added.He said he said he along with other RSS workers attacked a Pentecostal church in Attingal (Kerala).He said that after a period of time he was asked to write a suicide note, saying that he was committing suicide due to the mental torture of Jayarajan.

“I know the mental state of our people, I utilized that to escape. They kept shifting me to several RSS offices and some houses during this whole time. Finally I escaped last Sunday when they left me alone in a RSS office.

He told CNN News18 that at several places the BJP’S flags were destroyed by RSS- BJP workers themselves and the blame was put on the CPM. Apart from this, he said he said he along with other RSS workers attacked a Pentecostal church in Attingal and stopped vehicles which came with bulls during Ramzan.

“Some time back there was an attack on an Attingal Pentecost church, I was part of that. During Ramzan time when a vehicle came with bulls, we stopped the vehicle and picked fights with Popular front…I asked why we are doing this but got no response,” he said.

“In many places we have damaged BJP flags ourselves and Put the blame on the CPI(M), then tension intensified in that area,” he added.

Vishnu also said that three of his friends who were with the RSS are missing and he is worried about their safety.

However, RSS denies all these allegations. They say Vishnu was not even an active worker of the organisation and this is a plot hatched by the CPI(M).

A special investigation team led by control room assistant commissioner will look into the allegations made by Vishnu. A case has been registered for kidnapping, torturing, unlawful assembly and rioting.

– news18

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