Raipur, March 6: In a case of religious intolerance, a church in Khamardih area of Raipur in Chhattisgarh was on Sunday, March 6, vandalised by a group of 15-20 unidentified men. People who were present inside the church were attacked and thrashed, leaving five of them injured.
Raipur Additional Superintendent of Police Neeraj Chandrakar said five youths have been arrested in this connection.
While talking to a news agency, Arun Pannalal, President, Chhattisgarh Christian Forum on church attack said, "People from Bajrang Dal came, got inside church and started vandalising."
Pannalal also said, "They were ripping off women's clothes and threw a 2-year-old boy on ground."
"Attackers were chanting 'Jai Shree Ram' and were making allegations of religious conversion", he further said.
"Around 15-20 youths entered the church premises located at Kachna village while prayer was underway," Chandrakar told PTI. They allegedly damaged chairs, fans and other articles in the premises and even beat up the people present, he said.
The accused were reportedly sporting saffron bands on their forehead, he said. They fled the spot when the police arrived, he added.
Based on the victims' complaint, a case has been registered under sections 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt), 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) and 147 (rioting) of the IPC, he said.
Three motorcycles belonging to the accused were seized from the spot, he said, adding efforts are on to nab the miscreants.
Pannalal claimed that such incident was the fourth attack on a Christian place of worship in the past one month in the state.
"A group of 40-50 people from downtrodden families in the village had set up the church under a tin shed, where they perform prayers every Sunday," he said, refuting the conversion charge.
He said, "We are thankful to the police that they reached immediately and took the necessary action."
Here are some visuals of vandalised church: