Tension in Kawant after mob attack on christian missionaries

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Vadodara, Dec 21 (UNI) Tension prevailed in the tribal-infested Kawant taluka in Vadodara district after the mob attack on some christian missionaries and adivasi students of the Don Bosco school there.

A mob of about 25 adivasis reportedly beat up at least a dozen missionaries and students, including father Damien Sladen and nun Manjula on the keladra-Pipalda road on Wednesday when they were returning to Kawant in three jeeps after performing a play on environmental awareness in Baidiya village.

According to Vadodara district superintendent of police Amit Bishwakarma, Police registered the FIR, lodged yesterday by school's manager Father Joseph Monty Rodrigues, and an investigation was on but no one had been arrested so far.

Asked about the victims' complaint about ''police inaction'' and delay in registering their FIR, the DSP asserted that action would be taken against the policemen, if found guilty of negligence.

Meanwhile, the Don Bosco Education Society, which is running the institute, has sought immediate intervention of the Minority Commission and the National Human Rights Commission into the matter, alleging that the attack on them was a conspiracy to deny human and fundamental rights to local adivasis.

Barring Brother Ramesh, whose fingers were reportedly amputated in the attack, all the injured were discharged from SSG hospital in Vadodara and Kawant hospital.

Denying that there was any negligence on the part of police to register the case, Kawant police sources said the victims took their own time to register the FIR. The FIR lodged by father Rodrigues named Harsinh Rathwa, Mansinh, Pravin Rathwa, Kalesh Parsinh and Nagarsinh Rathwa as the key accused who, were leading the mob in the attack on the missionaries.

Seven of the victims, including brother Ramesh, were reportedly injured when the jeep they were travelling in skidded off the road in a bid to escape the mob attack. The complainant, who also managed to escape in another jeep, reported the matter to Kawant police station. Later, a police team, which rushed to the spot, rescued the victims, including injured father Damien Sladen, who was found in an unconscious state on the spot.

Earlier, the play being staged by Don Bosco Education Society, had to be stopped midway after accused Harsinh Rathwa allegedly assaulted a student artiste and threatened to kill the missionaries if they dared to step into the village in future.


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