Priest beaten up in Pune

May 9, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

The priest was left with a swollen eye after a man punched him on the face several times.

Patole was punched repeatedly on his face

Pune, May 08, 2013: A mob of some 25 people beat up a priest and others gathered for prayers, asking them to move away from a village near Pune.

The mob attacked Fr. Wilson Patole, 48, on May 5 evening, demanding that he close down the newly built church in Pimpri village in Maharashtra state, Indian Express reported.

They “barged into the church premises and smashed the banners put up inside. At that time, prayers were going on. The mob then stood outside the church premises,” said the priest.

The mob later offered to discuss the issues at the gate of the church. “As soon as we reached there, they started beating us up. They were not carrying sticks or arms,” the priests said.

The priest was left with a swollen eye after a man punched him on the face “several times”. He also suffered bruises on his shoulders.

The mob also attacked some of the 50 people who had gathered for evening prayers.

The mob reportedly left after the priest called up the police.

The priest lodged a police complaint late in the evening with police chowky.

Father Patole said when the church was being built there were no problems. “If they do not want us here, they should have told us. We would have moved out,” he said.

Father Patole alleged that though there were 20-25 people who attacked them, the Pimpri police lodged complaint against only two. “First they refused to lodge a complaint. Then they lodged a complaint against only two persons,” he said.

Father Patole said: “We are seeking action in the matter so that such attacks do not occur in future. We do not want revenge. We are peace-loving people. The police should not arrest the persons involved, but only take deterrent action.”

When contacted, DCP Shahaji Umap said: “A non-cognisable offence against two persons has been registered with the Pimpri police. We have not arrested them, but have taken preventive action.”

As for providing security, Umap said: “If the priest approaches us, we will take appropriate step in the matter. There is nothing political in this…the local people were objecting to the church coming up in their area.”

– indian express


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