Bail granted to second priest held in Jharkhand prison

Published 18 September 2019  |  
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Jharkhand court granted bail to Fr. Binoy John who was arrested in Rajadah mission area of Godda district on the accusation of forced conversions to Christianity and illegal occupation of land.

The bail was approved after some 3,000 people, mostly tribal, demanded the arrest of vandals who attacked the Jesuit-run St. John Berchmans College and the hostel attached to it in Sahibganj.

Fr. N. M. Thomas, vicar general of Bhagalpur Diocese, said Fr. John was admitted to a hospital because of general weakness and nausea after his release on September 16.

In addition, Fr. Thomas feels the case against the two priests Fr. John and Fr. Arun Vincent, and the catechist Munna Hansda is "absolutely baseless but part of a plan." According to him, there is an anti-Christian campaign going on in Jharkhand since BJP came to power locally and nationally in 2014. The pro-Hindu government is blamed for supporting the Hindu nationalists in violence against Christians.

While Fr. Vincent and Fr. John were released, catechist Hansda is still held in prison. The diocese lawyers are in the process of getting him out on bail. "We hope he will be out shortly," said Fr. Thomas.

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