Newly built Catholic church in Hyderabad vandalised

May 22, 2017 by  
Filed under India, newsletter-india, Persecution

Hyderabad, May 22, 2017: A group of villagers on Sunday vandalised the newly constructed Lady of Fathima Church at Godamakunta in Kundapalli village of Keesara mandal in Medchal district, 25 km from the city.

The church was consecrated on May 13 by Archbishop Thumma Bala of Hyderabad.

According to eyewitness account, the mob forced its way into the church on May 21 and broke the statues of Jesus Christ and Mother Mary besides pulling down the portraits and the chairs kept inside.

The miscreants, it was understood, had earlier gathered at the gram panchayat office, where a meeting was held opposing the continuation of the church.

A watchman and five construction workers were on the church premises when the incident took place.

When a person connected with the church rushed to the spot and tried to capture the incident on his mobile, miscreants snatched the phone and threatened him. After vandalising the church, the villagers left the place.

On information, the Archbishop, along with nominated MLA in Telangana Assembly Elvis Stephenson and national coordinator of the Disaster Management wing of the All India Catholic Union Roydin Roach, rushed to the spot.

The Keesara police also rushed to the spot and enquired about the incident.

Mr. Roach told The Hindu that the church was inaugurated on May 13 and no church service was being held as other civil works were on. “We had taken all the permissions for construction of the church and there was no dispute with anybody in the village,” he said, adding that it was an unfortunate incident.

“We Catholic people demand stern action against the culprits for vandalising the church and hurting our sentiments,” he said, adding that they had lodged a complaint with the Telangana Director-General of Police Anurag Sharma, who promised stern action against the people involved in the incident.

Keesara police said a mob arrived at the structure and damaged religious symbols claiming that the building was being used as a church when it was sanctioned for use as a function hall. The mob was led by the village sarpanch, said the police.

“The irate villagers claimed that the owner of the land had illegally built the church.

We have booked them for rioting,” Inspector M. Surender said, adding that they were yet to name people in the case. The inspector also said George Reddy, the owner of the land who had allocated about 1,000 square yards for the church, had applied for permission for constructing a church with the district administration but had not received approval yet.

– hindu

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