Archbishop of Bangalore condemned the attack on innocent Christian pilgrims

Published 29 August 2019  |  
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Archbishop of Bangalore, Peter Machado condemned the recent attack on 40 Christians who were on a pilgrimage to Velankanni, a coastal town in Tamil Nadu.

Six men, between the ages of 20 and 50, from the Hindu Munnani group blocked the pilgrims, accused them of converting and tore apart the posters they were carrying.

Archbishop Machado said reports claiming that the pilgrims were preaching Christianity and were on a conversion mission are false, and the attack on innocent pilgrims is unacceptable.

"We register our strong protest and displeasure. The brazen display of arrogance and terrorism by the misguided elements has hurt the sentiments of the entire Christian community and we are deeply disturbed and troubled," the Christian leader said.

The archbishop in his statement demanded strict action against the attackers and called for constrain on vigilante attacks against the country's religious minorities.

According to Murali, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), the six men verbally abused the pilgrims and tore their poster. While doing so, the two groups got into a tussle. "The fight would have escalated if the local inspector did not intervene," he said.

"The pilgrims were taken to their accommodation but were not willing to complain initially. It took up to 6 hours to convince them to give a formal complaint," he added.

The police official stated that the pilgrims were merely walking through the area with a poster. They were neither preaching nor trying to convert anyone. "The attackers were fanatics. There is no motive," said the DSP.

The six accused men were booked for non-bailable offence under section 153 A of the Indian Penal code.

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